July 4, 2008, - 5:20 pm

Sen. Jesse Helms, Rest In Peace

By Debbie Schlussel

Compromise, hell! That’s what has happened to us all down the line – and that’s the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?

–Senator Jesse Helms, writing in 1959 on compromise in politics.
An American patriot has passed away. Sen. Jesse Helms died, today, at the age of 86. Although history may not treat him well–he was unfairly and incessantly vilified because he was a conservative who mostly stuck to his principles–he was a good guy who loved America and didn’t give in to liberals until the end of his career. That’s why my late father was a proud donor to his campaign.


Jesse Helms was not only a great American patriot, he was–as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee–one of the few elected officials in the Congress who understood the threat of Islamic jihad ahead of his time. He was unapologetic for his strong support for the State of Israel in its fight against the terrorism we finally woke up to (and then again fell back to sleep about) on 9/11.
He was one of the Knights of the Realm of the Reagan Revolution. Helms was a conservative across the board–in both foreign policy and domestic issues. Helms was as tough on Communism as he was on funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, which funded disgraces like “Piss Christ” and Robert Mapplethorpe “art.”
Unfortunately, like many politicians who worry about their legacies and how history will remember them when they near the end of their careers, Helms fell prey to criticisms of him by the gay and AIDS funding communities. And he decided to get on board Bono’s tax-funded gravy train of forgiving billions in debt owed by mostly AIDS-stricken African countries, even though some of them are terror-host states–like Sudan–are Arab-run Islamic hells in which Blacks and those with AIDS are slaughtered.
Still, even though he “made amends” to the far-left constituencies who loved to hate him, today, they are not remembering him kindly. Here are some of his quotes gathered by AP, which remembers Helms as “a Polarizer, not a Compromiser,” because he refused to give in on his principles. That’s cause for applause, not denigration.
I will remember Jesse Helms as he was–a true American patriot who may not have always said things in the most “diplomatic” way, but he always did what he felt was the right thing and in the best interest of America. And for the most part, it was the right thing.
That’s why it is fitting that this American patriot died on the birthday of the country he loved so much and served so doggedly.
Senator Jesse Helms, Rest In Peace.
Jesse Helms was called a racist for this campaign ad against affirmative action. I don’t know about you, but it’s not the ad that’s racist, it’s affirmative action quotas–the ones Helms was against–that’s racist. Sadly, Jesse Helms is gone, but affirmative action quotas aren’t.

20 Responses

Few prominent Americans have died on the Fourth. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on this day within a few hours of each other in 1826. That makes it all the more bittersweet. We lost a great American today. Jesse Helms taught us its good to say “No” to dumb ideas. Americans need to do it more often. Go in to that good night, Jesse, and godspeed!

NormanF on July 4, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Many people liked to smear him as racist, but he was far from it. He practically adopted 3 black children and paid for their college education, not too mention adopting a 9 year old child with MS. He didn’t publically pat himself on the shoulder for doing good deeds he did them because it was right. Thank God he didn’t care about what leftists said about him and he didn’t compromise his beliefs and the principles that I firmly believe in. Uncle Jesse represented my state better than anyone. He will be missed.

ebarnes9 on July 4, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Jesse Helms was one of the great ones. Although he was not perfect, he towered above his contemporaries in his advocacy of conservative issues. Although there is a handful of conservative senators today, there’s no one like him, a senator who can lead, rather than follow the conservative movement.
There is a long biography of Helms that came out a few months ago by William A. Link. Although Link is a liberal, and although there are distortions, and a number of biased generalizations, a careful reader can get past those, and learn a lot about Sen. Helms.

c f on July 4, 2008 at 7:31 pm

“White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races.”
-Jesse Helms, 1950
Yes, what an unfairly attacked man. And how just you are in calling Obama a terrorist because his middle nae is “Hussein”. You are such a sane and all-considering person, Debbie.

Dieter on July 5, 2008 at 2:01 am

Helms denounced the 1964 Civil Rights Act as “the single most dangerous piece of legislation ever introduced in the Congress”.
He also had a vile personal record as a slum landlord to largely African American tenants in poor black districts of of Raleigh. Many of the properties he owned had been without proper heating for 30 years. Raleigh’s building inspectors repeatedly issued summonses against Helms to remedy a wide range of problems.
He was also guilty of electoral fraud, syphoning contributions into companies he owned, such as the $800,000 that went to his company Jefferson Marketing.
I can see why you guys love him.

No Pasaran! on July 5, 2008 at 10:55 am

Why is it that when a republican stands on his principals he’s ridiculed and when a dem does it he’s great (Ted “the drunken killer) Kennedy.
They also don’t talk about senator Byrd who was a klansman. Just because he is a dem.
Coleman Young(racist re-elected for over 30 years)
Marrion Berry (racist re-elected after jail time for crack)
Ray Nagin (racist re-elected after Katrina)
Dinkins (racist NYC murder rate shot through the roof)
Kwame Kilpatrick (racist re-elected after several illegalities and inappropriate relationships)
Could go on and on but it’s a nice day outside you lib tard losers. Let the man rest in peace you sewer dwellars.

samurai on July 5, 2008 at 11:35 am

Helms doesn’t deserve to rest in peace because he was a vile piece of racist scum.

No Pasaran! on July 5, 2008 at 12:05 pm

For most of us who are old enough to remember, Jesse Helms will ever live on in our memories as figure who stood for conservative principles. He did not back down either–especially when the fight was fiercest. I recall him once during a committee hearing telling some UN idiots that he’d gladly come to the dock to wave them a bon voyage as they sailed off into the sunset never to return here.
It says volumes too, Debbie, that your dad contributed to his campaign. I bet very few Jews did that.
Jesse Helms, RIP.

BB on July 5, 2008 at 2:26 pm

One more thing, there was a day when I would have looked at that clip ad as mildly racist (I hate to confess that). Now having seen the outcome of affirmative action policies all over the SE Michigan area–the reduction in standards and the excuse making, the lawsuits, the needless fear of lawsuits, the people who can’t hardly speak the language doing phone work etc–I say, that ad is just a relevant today as ever. It’s time to really go color blind in our country and end the so called “affirmative action” policies which only serve to emphasize race, not to minimize it.

BB on July 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Debbie, he was very pro-Israel in the Senate, despite the continuous scorn poured on him by Jewish groups. Israel should proclaim him a ‘righteous gentile’ to piss everyone off more.

Anonymous1 on July 5, 2008 at 4:03 pm

I have never seen the charges alleged by NP made against Helms before, i.e. the election fraud and slumlord allegations. I wonder what the documentation is. Most southern politicians were segregationists in 1950 including Sheets Byrd and William Fulbright. The 1964 Civil Rights Act did pave the way for affirmative action and massive entitlement; the riots for several years after passage shows no good deed goes unpunished.
No surprise that NP wouldn’t like Helms; Helms was a relentless foe of the commies/socialists, and opposed communist tyranny all around the world, so of course the loonies don’t like him. NP’s petty comments show us the difference between a giant and a midget.

c f on July 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Jesse Helms was a great American and there are very few in Congress today that can come close to the integrity this man stood for under relentless attacks from racists and red diaper doper babies.
I still remember his speeches on affirmative action and history has shown us that he was right about it being nothing but racism by decree of the Government.

ScottyDog on July 5, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Jesse Helms was not always Pro-Israel. It was not until after a senate race (I think it was 1984 but I could be wrong) when pro Israel PACs almost defeated him that he became pro Israel.

I_am_me on July 6, 2008 at 1:08 am

Although there are some newspaper articles, and some Buchanan supporters who have said that the reason for Helms’ pro-Israel position was due to election considerations, this is an oversimplification at best. Helms’ initial hostility to Israel was more because he perceived Israel as a socialist country, and thought of the Kibbutz as a socialist or Marxist undertaking.
The advent of Begin, and Helms’ ability to see the hostility between the Soviet Union and israel played a giant role in his position change. Just as the support of many Evangelical Christians for Israel is multi-determined, Helms’ support for Israel was due to a number of considerations, including the ones I have mentioned.

c f on July 6, 2008 at 7:23 am

when I heard about Helms’ death, I was curious how the ‘conservative press’ would react. I wondered whether the conservative press would give Helms half the praise that Tim Russert got when he died. So far it looks like Russert is way ahead. When (phony) conservatives take potshots at Helms, belittle him, or practically ignore him, this is telling us something. Pundits or political candidates who disown one of the foremost representatives of conservatism, cannot be relied on to lead the country back to sanity, even though they may be incrementally better than their opponents.

c f on July 6, 2008 at 8:02 am

Cool guy.

John Harper on July 6, 2008 at 9:18 am

Prior to 1986, Sen. Helms was one of the most vitriolic Israel-haters in American politics. His disdain for Israel bordered on anti-Semitism.
Then, in 1986, I received a letter from “the schnoz” supporting Sen. Helms opponent. Yes! I gave!
Sen. Helms barely won re-election that year, but realized his support was slipping. Recognizing the impact the pro-Israel community had in mobilizing opposition, Sen. Helms made a wise decision: he sought the council of Pat Robertson and Jerry Fawell.
From that time forward, Sen. Helms was one of the most ardent and effective supporters of Israel in the Senate. He even stood up all by himself to speak out against the Bush (41) Administration and Jim Baker in particular.
I’m glad that Sen. Helms saw the light. He left office as one of the good guys.

There is NO Santa Claus on July 6, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Unfortunately the Jewish community as a whole, with minor exceptions, is more concerned with abortion on demand, gay rights, liberal and conciliationist foreign policy, etc. than in strong pro-Israel policy. Hagee gets at best a lukewarm receiption, and staunch pro-Israel advocates such as Falwell & Robertson less than that. Coupled with the fact that Jews make up less than half a percent of the No. Carolina electorate, I don’t think there is much evidence, even with the current clamor of articles, for the fact that election considerations were predominant in the election switch (and Helms did not run for Senate in 1986).
While it is true that most evangelicals support Israel, and would approve of Helm’s revised position, it wasn’t really a cutting edge issue the way opposition to abortion, affirmative action, demands of the gay lobby, and appeasement were. Gantt got loads of Jewish contributions anyway because most Jewish contributors unfortunately had the same low opinion of Helms that has been expressed over the weekend by virtually all liberals, all too many ‘conservatives’ and ‘conservative’ blogs.
Of course he was a politician, and considered the political implications of all his actions, but on foreign policy and social issues, he was not afraid to do what he, and real conservatives, thought was right.

c f on July 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Also, don’t forget Reagan’s 1980 and 1984 campaigns. Although Reagan was pro-Israel, certainly more than Carter, and as much or more than Mondale, he never got close to a majority of Jewish votes.

c f on July 6, 2008 at 2:55 pm

To clarify, my comment about the ‘current clamor of articles’ did not refer to any contributions on this site. I was referring to the mainstream media.

c f on July 6, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Leave a Reply for Anonymous1

Click here to cancel reply.

* denotes required field