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R.I.P. Jesse Helms
Died on the Fourth of July
Some quotes of Jesse Helms, who died on the Fourth of July at age 86:
"I'm so old-fashioned I believe in horse whipping." - During a debate in 1991 on an AIDS-related amendment.
"Well, there is no joy in Mudville tonight. The mighty ultraliberal establishment, and the liberal politicians and editors and commentators and columnists, have struck out again." - Helms after defeating black Democrat Harvey Gantt for Senate in 1990.
"I came up between the two world wars during the Depression. All the people around me emphasized working and savings and personal responsibility. They spelled out in one way or another the uniqueness of America. This has largely been lost. Nobody would have thought of turning to the government to solve all our problems." - 1984 interview.
"The destruction of this country can be pinpointed in terms of its beginnings to the time that our political leadership turned to socialism. They didn't call it socialism, of course. It was given deceptive names and adorned with fancy slogans. We heard about New Deals, and Fair Deals and New Frontiers and the Great Society." - From a Helms editorial at WRAL-TV in Raleigh.
"I shall always remember the shady streets, the quiet Sundays, the cotton wagons, the Fourth of July parades, the New Year's Eve firecrackers. I shall never forget the stream of school kids marching uptown to place flowers on the Courthouse Square monument on Confederate Memorial Day." - Helms writing in 1956 on life in his hometown of Monroe, N.C.
"If he taught us anything, he taught us that we are personally responsible and accountable. I remember that day, and always will, when he called in several from the senior class. ... He said you can make it in this country. He said it's going to take hard work. ... He said you're going to succeed. He said you'll own your own homes and you'll have two cars and all that. I thought this man had lost his mind." - Helms reflecting on his high school principal.
"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?" - Helms writing in 1959 on compromise in politics.
"To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn't have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing." - Helms responding in 1956 to criticism that a fictional black character in his newspaper column was offensive.