Former Senator Jesse A. Helms died this morning in Raleigh. He was 86 years old. The News and Observer has an excellent write-up here.
God bless America. Thank you for giving us Jesse Helms. He stood up for this country when it wasn't fashionable and when no one else would.
This blogger first heard of Helms from her father, a conservative Democrat who spoke lovingly of Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms over the dinner table.
Though your blogger became a Republican in 1976 at the tender age of nine, it wasn't until 1984 that she became active in the North Carolina Republican Party. That year, Helms and Democrat Governor Jim Hunt ran the most expensive race ever for the United States Senate, which Helms won.
Always a staunch anti-communist, Helms was like a ray of light for this blogger. She still feels that most people are not aware of the threat that nations like Red China, North Korea, Vietnam, and others pose. Helms opposed any aid to the Soviet Union and this blogger agreed, feeling that nation would have fallen much sooner, had we not aided that communist government.
Insiders say, of his whole life, Helms regretted the racial practices he used in campaign tactics, most of all. He had many detractors and was seen as anti-gay by many, though he employed many minorities and gays on his staff.
He assumed the nickname "Senator No", since he often was a lonely "no" vote in the Senate. He was sharp and knew the Senate rules like no other, often becoming a pain in the side to liberals, such as the currently ailing Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Taxachusetts).
We appreciate you, Senator Helms, and Godspeed to you. It is appropriate that you pass on the birthday of our great nation.
May God bless your family, our state and the United States of America. Helms joins fellow patriots John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe by passing away on this great holiday.
For a video summary of Helms' life, check out the WRAL TV website.
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx released the following statement today on the death of former five-term Senator Jesse Helms. Senator Helms passed away this morning at age 86.
"Senator Helms was the truest of patriots," Rep Foxx said. "His passion for conservative principles and the vigor with which he pursued them was second to none.
"I consider Senator Helms to be a mentor and dear friend. He dedicated his life to ensuring that the America he knew and loved would remain a strong beacon of freedom in a tumultuous world. Senator Helms leaves behind a strong legacy of fighting for the freedoms that make America great, even in the face of the strongest of foes.
"Today my thoughts and prayers go out to those Senator Helms left behind. I pray that God's comfort might be with all of his loved ones during this difficult time."