liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,
liveonearth
liveonearth

Senator NO is dead


Jesse Helms
--"It has always been my contention," he wrote in his memoir, "that there is no sense in being in office if you don't have the courage to do what is right, even if it is the most unpopular position in the world."
--he thought he knew what was right and wrong for all of us
--lived 1921-2008
--he died at 86 after two years in a convalescent home (normal amount of time to survive in a "home")
--served 5 terms, 30 years in the senate for NC
--"firebrand", "conservative icon", "standard bearer"
--"unrepentant racism and homophobia", sexism too...
--Helms attack ad: "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."
--senate career began in 1972
--retired in 2003
--health issues: knee replacement, heart surgery, prostate cancer
--helped get Reagan elected in 1980
--was pro-military, pro-tobacco industry
--was against government spending (mostly), the UN, communism, welfare, arms control, homosexuality, MLK day, abortion, bussing, food stamps, affirmative action, "obscene" art, Panama Canal Treaty
--didn't care what people thought of him
--was hated by many modern liberals
--had close ties to religious right
--granddaughter Jennifer Knox won a District Court judgeship in Wake County in 2004
--for limited government EXCEPT for forcing his morality on others/when it served the wealthy
--Of civil rights protests Helms wrote, "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights." (WRAL-TV commentary, 1963)
--Helms remonstrated ten female members of the House of Representatives to "act like ladies" when they interrupted a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to demand support of a U.N. treaty against gender discrimination, and subsequently had them removed from the hearing by Capitol police. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/28/99)
Tags: aging, conservatism, homosexuality, isms, morality, north carolina, politics, race, republicans, sexism, values
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