Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Thoughts On The Death Of Jesse Helms

Evildoer Jesse Helms died earlier this week at age 86.

Senator Helms worked as hard and as long as he could to make life even more difficult for black folks, gay folks, the poor, and anybody else he did not like.

Yet I find no satisfaction in his passing.

For one thing, Mr. Helms got the best of his foes. He served five terms in the United States Senate. He left the Senate on his own terms. He was never defeated for election. He lived a long life.

Senator Helms never paid any price for his misdeeds.

When somebody like former South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond lives to be 100, you realize that “what goes around comes around” is only true if good people work to make it happen. Otherwise, evil  goes unpunished.

I also think there are deeper reasons to simply move on from the death of somebody like Senator Helms. If you react to the death of a Jesse Helms in the same hateful way he conducted his life, you’ve allowed wrongdoers to define your actions. Aren’t things lousy enough already?

While it’s a lot to ask one to completely discipline personal thoughts, it is our public actions and reactions that will be observed and judged by others.

Being glad someone is dead is simply the wrong course. It does nothing to harm the person who has passed. It only alters our own character.   

I rarely criticize Republicans and people on the far-right in my blog. I feel doing so would serve little purpose for what I want to accomplish. When you see this blog is titled Texas Liberal, you can guess what I think of Jesse Helms.

There are always going to be wrongdoers. I have only so much time for blog posts. I don’t want bad folks to take up all my time.

The issue is the words and deeds of people open to taking the right course in life. It is these people I want to concern myself with.

July 6, 2008 - Posted by | Politics | , , ,


  1. The late senator deserves a fitting memorial. See http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2008/07/05/jesse-helms/

    Comment by Mike Licht | July 6, 2008

  2. Your post is related to a question I was asked over Independence Day dinner (BBQ, of course) by my father: “there are so many successful conservative radio hosts; where are the liberal ones?” I explained to him about Air America. But the real answer is, people like Rush Limbloat spend about 96% of his airtime denigrating liberals and Democrats. As I told Dad, when you can’t say anything positive about your own views, all you are left with is running down the other side. Liberals prefer to bore you to tears with solutions and policy. This does not make for good radio.

    I agree with you that slamming Helms serves no purpose. It’s pretty obvious to almost everyone that the day for people with views like his has passed. Thank goodness. Let’s just wave a fond goodbye to relics of the past.

    Comment by Judith | July 6, 2008

  3. Mike Licht—He was, as your memorial suggests, not a very good person. Thanks for the comment.

    Judith—It is a good point that for the moment at least, Mr. Helms’ views seem on the outs. Hopefully that will remain the case.

    I linked to your fine blog for your precinct in Denton County. It’s called Castle Hills Democrats on my blogroll if people would like to give it a look.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 6, 2008

  4. Thanks Neil! I’ve been lurking here off and on for weeks-I really like the mixture of subjects you have going on (marine life, etc).
    I’ll return the favor and put a link to you on my blog.

    Comment by Judith | July 6, 2008

  5. Well written, Neil. I could hardly have said it better myself. Returning hate with hate is a losing proposition.

    Comment by Whosplayin | July 6, 2008

  6. Thanks for both these comments. You’re both good to read the blog and leave a nice comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 7, 2008

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