Two Obits for Jesse Helms

From Christopher Hitchens:

He continued to “see” [racial segregation as an accepted part of the world] as an adult…switching his party allegiance from Democrat to Republican in tune with the Nixon “Southern strategy” and famously deploying the “white hands” ad 20 years later, in which the genius of Dick Morris exploited the woes of the rejected white job seeker. That episode did get a mention in the [New York Times] obituary, but there was no recollection of Helms’ role in opposing the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, in protecting the apartheid state from the imposition of sanctions, or in defending white Rhodesia.

…Had it not been for Helms, it is unlikely that the United States would have become so fatally embroiled with the scabrous contras of Nicaragua. And probably nobody but Helms could have surveyed the situation in El Salvador in the 1980s and concluded that the problem with that small and tortured country was that its government was already too socialist.

From Billy Graham:

“Jesse Helms, my friend and long-time senator from my home state of North Carolina, was a man of consistent conviction to conservative ideals and courage to faithfully serve God and country based on principle, not popularity or politics.

“In the tradition of Presidents Jefferson, Adams and Monroe — who also passed on July 4th — it is fitting that such a patriot who fought for free markets and free people would die on Independence Day. As we celebrate the birth of our nation, I thank God for the blessings we enjoy, which Senator Helms worked so hard to preserve.

“Over three decades in the United States Congress, Senator Helms was a loyal and effective leader on behalf of our State, with whom I connected during times of national crisis…”

Helms also had his supporters in the UK; in 1985 a group of “libertarian” Young Conservatives headed across the Atlantic to meet the man for themselves.

2 Responses

  1. Our site takes a somewhat unbalanced view of the good Senator, and the coincidence of of the 4th of July passing. Thanks for adding the contrasting views.

  2. […] – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by bradisntclever on 2008-10-08 Two Obits for Jesse Helms – bookmarked by 4 members […]

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