In Memoriam: Jesse Helms

"In a life full of accomplishments, probably the most significant single political act was his role in persuading a disappointed Ronald Reagan in 1976 to continue his primary campaign for the presidential nomination." That's Richard Greenfield paying tribute to the late Jesse Helms this week in the Connecticut Jewish Ledger. Welcome words of truth, if you were as disgusted as I was at the MSM slurs on Helms's memory after his death in the predawn hours of July 4.

Greenfield continues: "Fresh from defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire, Reagan was ready to abandon his effort. But Helms got him to stay in the race resulting in stunning victories first in North Carolina and then Texas. Arthur Finkelstein, a Helms adviser at the time said 'without Helms and Team Reagan there would have been no Reagan presidency and the cause of freedom in the world would have suffered greatly.'" Read the whole piece here; click to editorials in left column.

Another eloquent and fitting eulogy for Helms came from columnist Phil Brennan, who said in part:

    "Unlike Gulliver, he would not allow himself to be tied down by the mass of pygmies who surrounded him and shot their darts at him.

    "Like St. Thomas More, when the winds of change blew against him, he seemed to say, 'Here I stand -- I will not be moved. You can slander me, you can kill me, but you cannot kill the truth.'

    "Like another great Southerner, Stonewall Jackson, he lived the motto, 'Duty is mine, consequences are God’s.' And he did his duty as his Creator gave him the light to see it. And like Old Jack when he struck at his foes, he used everything he had."

Read the rest of Brennan's tribute here. America and the conservative movement greatly need not only more men and women of backbone like Reagan, but also more like Helms.