Saturday, July 05, 2008
RIP Senator Jesse Helms
Senator Jesse Helms passed away on Independence Day. For thirty years, he was the Senator from North Carolina. He agitated folks on the left and some moderates with crystal clear stands on the issues of the day.
However, It is not those social views that we at Voting under the Influence choose to remember and honor Helms for. Though those views have their place, it is fitting to honor Senator Helms for being a man who got things done for the people of North Carolina and, as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate, being a warrior for freedom when freedom needed him most.
In 1972, when Helms was first elected to the United States Senate, it was not easy or politically correct to stand up against communism. Yet, Helms did. Helms spent his entire Senate career working for freedom in nations that had before never tasted it. Helms worked with Republicans and Democrats on that endeavor. He counted among his best friends Clinton Secretary of State Madeline Albright.
Indeed, in retirement Helms even worked with the pop/rock star Bono to work for charities for developing nations. The caricature the media created of Jesse Helms did the man no justice. He was bigger than that. He will go down in history as the longest serving popularly elected United States Senator in North Carolina history and as a warrior against communism when America needed him most.
Rest in peace, Senator Helms.