Jesse Helms, the Republican US senator for North Carolina has died. Now this may seem an unsual story for BUCF to comment on as he was not a particularly well known politician to us Brit’s, however through friends of the family who live in Georgia USA, I have had the pleasure to meet Mr Helms and I knew him to be a deeply conservative and deeply patriotic man. He was a passionate defender of the rights of the individual, a true conservative and a staunch opponent to what he termed the ‘freight train of liberalism’ that threatended to ‘mow us down’. Whilst I do not agree with everything he stood for I acknowledge the true grit and conviction of this great man.
If it were not for the actions of Jesse Helms the world may never have been graced with Ronald Reagan as President and the world today could have been a very different, much worse, place. As Nancy Reagan herself acknowledged many years ago, had Helms not put his considerable political weight and organization behind Reagan so that he was able to win North Carolina in the battle for the 1976 Republican nomination, there may have never been a Reagan presidency in 1980. For that alone we owe him an enormous debt. He was a man who said what he meant and meant what he said. For a true US patriot I am proud, as I know he would be, that he met his end on July 4th. Independence day. A true testiment to a truly great man. My favourite quote of his is as follows:
“Compromise?! hell! … 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?”
Never a truer word spoken. Rest in peace Mr Helms.