Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) who died Friday at the age of 86 was a conservative who was a hero to many in the conservative movement. To the media he was a polarizing figure that defeated the liberal agenda thus earning their wrath. So much so that the obituary in the Financial Times couldn’t find an objective way to treat his life and legacy and instead chose to spew venom instead.
To many around the world and to those in America who would consider themselves of the political centre or to the left of it, Jesse Helms, the Republican Senator from North Carolina who died on Friday aged 86, was little less than a monster.
Certainly, in his pomp as chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee from 1995-2001, he was a man who never bothered to disguise his dislike for his enemies and his determination to frustrate them. They included all liberals, most foreigners, and those whose sexual orientation he considered unnatural. His particular bêtes noires included the United Nations, China, Fidel Castro’s Cuba, the Soviet Union, and its prime successor, Russia.
If this type of obituary had been written writtem of a liberal there would be howls of protest, but attacking a conservative when they are dead will undoubtedly elicit nary a peep.