Saturday, July 05, 2008

Goodbye Jesse Helms

Like most Americans, particularly those of us in Blue States with newspapers like the Hartford Courant, I was taught to hate Senator Jesse Helms before I actually knew anything about him. He was a bigot, a right wing extremist and hated gay people.

Then I learned the facts. I saw him interviewed on CNN's 'Evans and Novak' and quite to the contrary of what I heard and believed, I found Helms to be a profoundly reasonable gentleman. I think Helms was wrong to oppose such things as as the Civil Rights Act, Aids research and a Clinton nominee because she was a lesbian but come on! The man was from the deep south of a certain generation. There just are some things that the older generation will never understand. As long as they are in the minority, we can forgive them for it. Put another way --if the feminists can forgive (and remain silent) O.J. Simpson for wife-beating and double murder, if the Democrats/MSM can forgive Willie Horton for murdering Joseph Fournier, than I can forgive Helms for being old fashioned.

On balance Helms was more right than wrong on any number of issues important to me. My own senators from Connecticut can not say the same . The liberals in and out of the media targeted Helms for defeat over and over but they never beat him. Helms walked away from the senate a winner in 1991 and died, fittingly, on America's birthday yesterday.

For all the criticism I have hear about Jesse Helms, I have yet to find much that holds up to scrutiny. Even the disparaged 'hands' ad wasn't in my view racist. It was a fair, even respectful, ad on an important issue. Obviously the majority of North Carolina citizens agreed.

Helms beat Harvey Ganntt not once but twice. The media never forgave him for that.
Helms also opposed the late Robert Mapplethorpe being given public funds for such "art" as a whip stuck up his own butt and poop-eating. Wow. How unreasonable is that! All I have to say is thank goodness someone said it.

Thanks for the memories Jesse!


Blogger heidianne jackson said...

jesse wasn't opposed to the civil rights act because of some old-fashioned notions - he was opposed because it servered to set up a new "class" of people. and that is exactly what happened. his wisdom will be greatly missed.

July 10, 2008 2:42 PM  
Blogger mccommas said...

What new class? In this country we have no classes except in school.

July 12, 2008 11:12 AM  
Blogger Seane-Anna said...

OMG! I barely heard about Jesse Helms' passing. I was so caught up in the holiday and spending time with my family that the short blurb I heard on the radio went in one ear and out the other. Thanks for this tribute, Mac.

July 12, 2008 6:06 PM  

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