Barr: We should ‘give thanks to God’ for the life and work of Jesse Helms

“I was deeply saddened to hear of Sen. Helms’ passing and want his family to know they are in my heart and prayers at this time,” said Bob Barr in a July 4 press release. “Sen. Helms was one of the finest, most courageous and deeply principled men to ever serve in the United States Congress. As President’s Reagan’s right hand and ally, he helped bring down Communism so that nations might grow and flourish in freedom. He was a stalwart ally of freedom fighters around the globe, knowing that we are all diminished if we allow fascism to flourish. He was also the consummate gentleman, revered by colleagues, staff and friends for his unfailing kindness, good humor, generosity and patriotism.”

Many libertarians would beg to differ with Barr’s characterization of the openly racist Helms — or the LP presidential candidate’s assertion that Helms, or Reagan, helped “bring down Communism.”

As for Helms’s “unfailing kindness,” it was certainly not extended to “Negroes.”

Helms’s racist political activities began no later than 1950, when while working on a Democratic primary campaign, Helms helped create an ad that read, “White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races.”

Thirteen years later, Helms had this to say of civil-rights protesters: “The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that’s thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men’s rights.”

That same year, Helms also wrote, “Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced.”

In 1960, Helms worked on the unsuccessful Democratic primary gubernatorial campaign of I. Beverly Lake, Sr., who ran as a supporter of racial segregation.

Helms became a Republican and in 1972 was elected to the U.S. Senate. He gave support to Ronald Reagan — Barr’s political idol — in 1976 during his insurgent run against incumbent Gerald Ford.

In 1983, Helms opposed making Martin Luther King a national holiday not on constitutional grounds — but on the spurious grounds that King has “communist ties.”

Helms once purposely sought to offend Carol Mosely Braun, an African-American senator, by whistling “Dixie” and singing a song about the “good life” during slavery. “Watch me make her cry,” he said to a colleague once Braun was trapped in an elevator with him.

Helms was also a hardcore interventionist. He had ties to Salvadorian death squads and was an outspoken supporter of fascist dictator Pinochet of Chile.

This is a man Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr considers to be “one of the finest, most courageous and deeply principled men to ever serve in the United States Congress.”

“Today, as we celebrate our freedom and independence, we should stop and give thanks to God for the life and work of Jesse Helms,” said Barr. “As a nation we are stronger and the world is freer for his commitment to liberty. May God bless his family.”

51 thoughts on “Barr: We should ‘give thanks to God’ for the life and work of Jesse Helms

  1. G.E. Post author

    It is because of things like this that I knew would crop up that I decided to not run for office as a Libertarian this year. I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed that my party nominated a racist / racist sympathizer for its presidential candidate.

  2. Steve LaBianca

    Though Jesse Helms held some beliefs which a libertarian could agree with, there were in fact many beliefs which are in contradiction to libertarianism . . just as many of Barr ‘s beliefs are. Truth be known . . . Barr is a a conservative, not a libertarian! Surprise!

    If 323 Denver delegates who voted for Barr had a chance to change their vote and re-vote today, how many would do so? I’d be willing to bet it would be more than 100!

  3. G.E. Post author

    David Duke has some beliefs I agree with. When he dies I will not give God thanks for his life and work, though.

  4. cbennett

    I’d give more praise to G.E, even though he has called me out as a collectivist at times, when he dies than Bob Barr. Call me sometime, Jason, my number is on my facebook page.

  5. Jimmy Clifton

    Pitiful, simply pitiful. The Libertarian has become the reincarnation of the old Strom Thurmond “Dixiecrat Party.” Shame, shame, shame!

  6. Jimmy Clifton

    Pitiful, simply pitiful. The Libertarians have become the reincarnation of the old Strom Thurmond “Dixiecrat Party.” Shame, shame, shame!

  7. pdsa

    @ mattc

    There are presently Nine Active Republicans Senators, who if fortune is kind enough to allow me to outlive, I will toast to a better world upon their demise. They are the Nine Reprehensible Senators who voted against McCain’s Anti-Torture amendment to the Department Of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006, on October 5, 2005. Those Nine Dishonourable Americans are:
    1. Sen. Wayne Allard (Colo.)
    2. Sen. Christopher S. Bond (Mo.)
    3. Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.)
    4. Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.)
    5. Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.)
    6. Sen. James M. Inhofe (Okla.)
    7. Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.)
    8. Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.)
    9. Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska)

    I happily toasted to a better world upon learning the death of Deng Xiaoping,l the Butcher of Tiananmen Square, and I have a prearranged date with two Cuban American friends to do the same the day that Castro dies. It serves no purpose to lie giving an eulogy.

  8. George Donnelly

    Now THIS is cringe-worthy.

    I am disappointed.

    Of course, this is meant as a marketing pitch to conservatives I bet. But that doesn’t excuse it.

    GE: just bc he respects Helms does not make Barr a racist.

    matte: not badmouth, just not gush so much praise for a person that was not much of a libertarian.

  9. Nexus

    “matte: not badmouth, just not gush so much praise for a person that was not much of a libertarian.”

    Agreed!
    Helms was a racist pig of the worst sort. No eulogy is complete without some mention of his less than stellar past. You want to call him a ‘gentleman’, fine, but don’t whitewash the fact the man was an out and out racist.

  10. G.E. Post author

    mattc – Why have anything to say at all? Barr implored ME to “give thanks to God” for the “life and work” of a man who once said “thank you” on national TV when praised for “holding down the Negro race.”

    Barr wants me to thank God for all of the work Helms has done to affirm white supremacy and global interventionism in the name of “anti-communism” — a euphemism for domestic fascism.

    My message to Barr: Go to hell and burn with Helms.

  11. Trent Hill

    GE,

    Im just going to jot your name down next to Chuck Baldwin =)

    As for Helms–if im correct, he repudiated out-and-out racism in his last book, but did not repudiate certain racist tendencies. Frankly, its something we should expect from a man born in 1920. Many allege that Robert Byrd is still a full-blown racist, and I believe them. It is a relic of their time, and only a new religious/philosophical worldview can change those opinions. I praise Jesse Helms for the good things he did, protecting federalism, lowering taxes, stopping payments to the UN, and being a staunch pro-life advocate. But I disparage him for the bad things–the racism, the support of the drug war and interventionism.

  12. Trent Hill

    By the way:

    “He was a stalwart ally of freedom fighters around the globe, knowing that we are all diminished if we allow fascism to flourish.”

    Those are Barr’s words, not Helms. And they are THOROUGHLY interventionist. The rantings of a pro-war liberal, like Krauthammer.

  13. G.E. Post author

    Trent – Robert Byrd might be a racist, but he is also one of the closest things to an “Old Rightist” in the Senate; at least according to Bill Kauffman’s AIN’T MY AMERICA, which considers Byrd and Jim Webb the two best Democratic senators, for what it’s worth.

    Regardless: I wouldn’t expect a libertarian to implore me to “give thanks to God” for the “life and work” of Robert Byrd, either.

    Maybe Helms changed. That still doesn’t mean a libertarian candidate should implore me to give thanks to God for his life and work WITHOUT qualification!

  14. pdsa

    @ Trent Hill

    Persons who allege that Byrd is still a racist are either ignorant, or motivated for other reasons.

    Byrd’s 100% rating in the NAACP’s 108th Congress Report Card
    Byrd’s proposed $10 million in federal funding for the planned Martin Luther King Jr. national memorial
    Byrd’s May 19, 2008 endorsement of Obama for president

    None of these offer much in the way of Byrd’s libertarian intents, btw, yet I still give him credit for his stalwart dissents against the Authorization of The Use of Military Force In Iraq in 2002. He deserves recognition for this.

  15. mattc

    “My message to Barr: Go to hell and burn with Helms.”

    We’re going a little overboard now, aren’t we?

  16. Trent Hill

    pdsa,

    I dont think Byrd is a racist, for the record. I agree with GE (and Bill Kauffman, whose book I just finished) that Byrd and Webb are the best democratic Senators (though I think Webb outshines Byrd).
    However–I do think Helms exemplifies the Southern agrarian Old Right candidate,with the exception of his interventionism. His racism is basically a relic of the time,and all but the Northern/Midwestern Old Right-types were racist.

    By the way: I do so love to have a place where discussing The Old Right, Howard Buffett, and Robert Taft is considered normal.

  17. RedPhillips

    “I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed that my party nominated a racist / racist sympathizer for its presidential candidate.”

    So are you saying that Barr is a racist? If so, that would definitely qualify as “vigilant anti-racism.”

    pdsa,

    So Byrd is not a racist because of certain political positions he has taken?

    This is exactly the problem. Racism is a term used as a political bludgeon instead of actually meaning something. Take wrong political potions and you are a bad racist. Take other political positions, and you are good and pure of thought. That libertarians don’t recognize how nefarious this is amazes me. Especially that supporting spending for an MLK national monument somehow buys someone some anti-racist cred. What a joke that is.

    Show me where Barr, Byrd or Helms said something along the lines of “I hate black people,” and I will believe they are racists. Otherwise, this is all hyper-PC gum flapping.

  18. G.E. Post author

    Red – Maybe Helms was not a racist at the time of his death. But he spent the bulk of his political career advancing government racism and white privilege. Therefore, when Bob Barr says I should “give thanks to God” for his “life and work” — without qualification — he deserves the label “racist / racist sympathizer.”

    You are actually the PC one. To you, “racist” is a politically incorrect word that cannot be uttered, even when appropriate.

    Ron Paul and Ayn Rand were not “PC” at all, but they both made statements affirming the evil and stupidity of racism. Was this out of “white guilt”?

  19. Mike Guess

    “My message to Barr: Go to hell and burn with Helms.”

    Agreed! LP lowers the Barr in 2008. No Barr in 08.

  20. paulie cannoli

    We’re going a little overboard now, aren’t we?

    Who’s this “we” you speak of, Kimosabe? 🙂

  21. paulie cannoli

    So are you saying that Barr is a racist?

    If there is a better explanation for his position on the Genarlow Wilson case, I’d love to know it.

  22. paulie cannoli

    By the way: I do so love to have a place where discussing The Old Right, Howard Buffett, and Robert Taft is considered normal.

    I agree – even though I’m not as enamored of the Old Right as some here, it’s an interesting subject, and far better than the polluted atmosphere at Turd Potty Watch of late.

  23. paulie cannoli

    Show me where Barr, Byrd or Helms said something along the lines of “I hate black people,” and I will believe they are racists. Otherwise, this is all hyper-PC gum flapping.

    BARR: Genarlow Wilson case; Council of Conservative Citizens.

    BYRD: Acknowledged former member of KKK, although maybe he changed.

    HELMS: Plenty of examples in this very article.

  24. RedPhillips

    “BARR: Genarlow Wilson case; Council of Conservative Citizens.

    HELMS: Plenty of examples in this very article.”

    Of course none of the above comes anywhere near equaling “I hate black people.” Thanks for proving my point. You are worse than I thought. I was trying to give you credit as being a somewhat rational anti-racist instead of the purely emotional type. You are making it impossible. Whatever one may think of the Wilson case, (which I had to look up but recall hearing about) the suggestion that taking a particular position on it is necessarily motivated by racism is absurd. To imply that it is the default explanation is just so agenda driven and irrational that it doesn’t need comment. You just took yourself even further out of the realm of serious discussion. You are a name calling anti-racism hustler.

  25. paulie cannoli

    Of course none of the above comes anywhere near equaling “I hate black people.”

    Refer to dictionary definitions of racism previously posted. You seem to be deliberately ignoring them.

    Hating people because of their alleged race is only one of the several different types of racism.


    Thanks for proving my point. You are worse than I thought. I was trying to give you credit as being a somewhat rational anti-racist instead of the purely emotional type.

    I’d be tempted to tell you something similar in return, except that I’ve promised not to until I catch up on my reading.

    By the way, I am absolutely “worse” than you thought. A couple of decades ago, when I was much more into direct physical confrontation, I used to get in fights with racists, alongside my friends in SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) on a semi-regular basis. We got into more than a few scrapes with nazis. The original nazis killed much of my family in Europe, although it was before my time. My paternal grandfather fought against them in the Red Army of the USSR.

    I’m much more non-violent now. I still oppose racism, although there is no conflict whatsoever between logic and emotions on this.

  26. paulie cannoli

    Whatever one may think of the Wilson case, (which I had to look up but recall hearing about) the suggestion that taking a particular position on it is necessarily motivated by racism is absurd. To imply that it is the default explanation is just so agenda driven and irrational that it doesn’t need comment.

    Provide some alternative explanations, or are you unable?


    You just took yourself even further out of the realm of serious discussion. You are a name calling anti-racism hustler.

    Right. Readers can decide for themselves who is engaging in name-calling in this exchange.

  27. Trent Hill

    I am certainly enamored of the Old Right. Im surprised more anarchists/radical libertarians arent. Howard Buffet and H.L Mencken are amongst the giants of that movement, and both are highly regarded by Lew Rockwell and co. Howard Buffett was highly influenced by Rothbard.

  28. paulie cannoli

    That’s part of the problem some libertarians have with Lew et al.

  29. Trent Hill

    paulie,

    Maybe so. I have my own problems with Lew and Rothbard–but im a big fan of Thomas Woods. Dilorenzo to a lesser degree,too.

  30. G.E. Post author

    Trent – I don’t think Buffett was influenced by Rothbard, but more likely the other way around.

  31. RedPhillips

    “Provide some alternative explanations, or are you unable?”

    From what I recall reading about the case, the video was actually much more damning than Wilson’s defenders let on. To suggest that Bob Barr’s (I don’t even know what he said about the case.) position on the case is motivated by racism without any other evidence is just cartoonish.

  32. G.E. Post author

    “I have my own problems with Lew and Rothbard–but im a big fan of Thomas Woods. Dilorenzo to a lesser degree,too.”

    I have my own problems with Thomas Woods – but I’m a big fan of Rothbard and Dilorenzo and Rockwell.

    Really, Woods is mostly good, too. In fact, I’m not aware of any legislation he would favor that I wouldn’t. I think his obsession with Catholicism is kinda weird, but whatever — he’s a great historian and truth-teller.

    DiLorenzo is THE man, though. I’d rate him just behind Ron Paul and Mary Ruwart in the most awesomest people alive.

  33. G.E. Post author

    paulie – WTF? Why would people have problems with Lew Rockwell over support for Howard H. Buffett and H.L. Mencken? Specifically, Buffett? Why?

  34. paulie cannoli

    From what I recall reading about the case, the video was actually much more damning than Wilson’s defenders let on.

    Recall reading where? More damning in what way?

  35. paulie cannoli

    paulie – WTF? Why would people have problems with Lew Rockwell over support for Howard H. Buffett and H.L. Mencken? Specifically, Buffett? Why?

    I don’t recall anything specifically about Buffett, although I’m pretty sure I’ve read that Mencken was prejudiced. I don’t have that in front of me now, and don’t want to go too far out on thin ice.

    But I didn’t mention names – it was various people on the Old Right that some libertarians disapprove of Lew et al associating with. Not necessarily the two you mention at all.

    In fact, since you used to criticize LR for alleged racism, quite vociferously if you recall, you may even remember the specifics. I know you have changed your mind – that’s not my point.

  36. Trent Hill

    GE,

    “Trent – I don’t think Buffett was influenced by Rothbard, but more likely the other way around.”

    You are, somewhat, correct. Howard Buffet remarked in 1954 that his favorite writer was “Aubrey Hebert”, a hardcore right-winger. Rothbard would write to Buffet in 1956 confessing that he was, in fact, Aubrey Hebert. Buffet and Rothbard had met the summer before at one of Mises’ seminars. Of course, this was AFTER both stints in Congress–so I suppose we are both right. =)

  37. Trent Hill

    “Really, Woods is mostly good, too. In fact, I’m not aware of any legislation he would favor that I wouldn’t. I think his obsession with Catholicism is kinda weird, but whatever — he’s a great historian and truth-teller.”

    Wood’s catholicism has been KEY in reaching out to the religiously-political and giving them the message of Mises/Rothbard/Ron Paul.

    “DiLorenzo is THE man, though. I’d rate him just behind Ron Paul and Mary Ruwart in the most awesomest people alive.”

    Why do you like DiLorenzo so much?

  38. Trent Hill

    “I don’t recall anything specifically about Buffett, although I’m pretty sure I’ve read that Mencken was prejudiced. I don’t have that in front of me now, and don’t want to go too far out on thin ice.”

    Frankly–I think the idea of using a political figure’s supposed racism from pre-1960’s is cheap. The vast majority of people were what we would consider prejudice. Its like saying “I liked Cato the Younger, but he treated women as servants”.

  39. G.E. Post author

    Paul – My false and slanderous accusations against Lew and the Mises crowd were based on my own stupidity in listening to the Stato crowd — that one Tom guy’s blog in particular — and falling for the idiotic “guilt by association.” This was an example of my old liberal prejudices being to blame, since as a liberal, you have to keep six degrees of separation from even the hint of racism. I was totally wrong about Lew Rockwell in 2006 just like I was totally wrong about the Federal Reserve and various other things; and I was totally wrong about economic in general when I was younger. Unlike Bob Barr, I have changed.

    Mencken made a few statements that could be considered racist — although his whole schtick was to offend.

    I’m aware of no such black marks on Buffett’s career.

  40. G.E. Post author

    Trent – Because DiLorenzo is enormously courageous in smashing the Lincoln cult. I think his work is essential to libertarian epistemology. Although after reading Ain’t My America, I think his characterizations of the Jeffersonian/Hamiltonian split might be slightly exaggerated, such an approach is very illustrative. I cannot wait until DiLorenzo’s next book, Hamilton’s Curse, comes out!

  41. Trent Hill

    GE,

    I think The Jeffersonian/Hamiltonian split is DEFINETLY exagerrated. I certainly appreciate his work on Lincoln, though. In person he is gruff, he claims becuase “every Lincoln lover in the country wants to shoot me”. Nice guy though. Thomas Woods is about the nicest scholar you’ll ever meet, not arrogant or above-it-all. Rockwell and the rest, I can’t say the same of. I got a very arrogant vibe from the rest of them–although I still like their work. If you ever goto one of their conferences, approach Max Raskin–the 17 year old Austrian-school prodigy and ask him about his debate with “that slimy minarchist”

    EDIT: Let me exempt David Gordon from that arrogance. The man is like a grandpa.

  42. sunshinebatman

    Helms was the most powerful opponent of the UN & global government during his tenure in the Senate. In raw realpolitik terms of man vs the global state, Jesse Helms was the most libertarian sitting Senator for a period of decades.

  43. Trent Hill

    sunshinebatman,

    Im not positive about that. I will say this–the man deserves more praise than most US Senators. My grandmother is still racist, because she was born in Livingston Parish, Louisiana in 1936–but she’s still a good person and would still be capable of doing her job good too. Same for Helms–his racism is deplorable, but he DID stand for many good things during his time in the Senate. Federalism, anti-UN, pro-life issues, etc etc etc.
    GE–what do you think of Senators Wherry and Bridges of the Old Right?

  44. G.E. Post author

    I don’t know Wherry and Bridges and your grandma is not a professional racist advancing a racist political agenda. When she dies, I’m sure her family will be very sad, and maybe her “life and work” will be worthy of praise.

    Jesse Helms’s is not. At least not without qualification.

    Regardless, the bigger issue here is how Barr claims that Helms, Reagan, and the Fed defeated Soviet Communism.

  45. paulie cannoli

    Sorry – I see where I speed read and made a mistake.

    #

    Trent Hill // Jul 7, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    I am certainly enamored of the Old Right. Im surprised more anarchists/radical libertarians arent. Howard Buffet and H.L Mencken are amongst the giants of that movement, and both are highly regarded by Lew Rockwell and co. Howard Buffett was highly influenced by Rothbard.
    #

    30 paulie cannoli // Jul 7, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    That’s part of the problem some libertarians have with Lew et al.

    The specific people Trent mentions are not what I meant when I said “that’s part of the problem some libertarians have with Lew..” (and note the use of the word some).

    What I was referring to was that they are enamored of the Old Right in general, and many libertarians aren’t.

    wikipedia:

    This anti-New Deal movement was a coalition of multiple groups:

    (4) conservative states-rights Democrats from the South;

    6) soured radicals, such as Father Charles Coughlin

    Influential members of the American Old Right include:

    celebrities: Charles Lindbergh,

    ..

    The Southern Agrarian Wing of the “Old Right” drew on some of the values and anxieties being articulated on the anti-modern right, including the desire to retain the social authority and defend the autonomy of the American states and regions, especially the South.

    ..the Southern Agrarians:

    “Rejected industrial capitalism and the culture it produced. In I’ll Take My Stand they called for a return to the small-scale economy of rural America as a means to preserve the cultural amenities of the society they knew. Ransom and Tate believed that only by arresting the progress of industrial capitalism and its imperatives of science and efficiency could a social order capable of fostering and validating humane values and traditional religious faith be preserved.

  46. G.E. Post author

    The only thing negative I have to say about Charles Lindberg — falsely smeared as an anti-Semite — is that he joined up for the murderous WWII to try to redeem himself. He needed no redemption.

  47. paulie cannoli

    wikipedia

    (Lindbergh) warned of the Jewish People’s “large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government,”

    Interventionists created pamphlets pointing out his efforts were praised in Nazi Germany and included quotations such as “Racial strength is vital; politics, a luxury.” They included pictures of him and other America Firsters using the stiff-armed Bellamy salute…

    Because of his numerous scientific expeditions to Nazi Germany,[citation needed] combined with a belief in eugenics, Lindbergh was suspected of being a Nazi sympathizer.

    Lindbergh’s reaction to Kristallnacht was entrusted to his diary: “I do not understand these riots on the part of the Germans,” he wrote. “It seems so contrary to their sense of order and intelligence. They have undoubtedly had a difficult ‘Jewish problem,’ but why is it necessary to handle it so unreasonably?”

    ..
    However, he clearly stated elsewhere that he believed the survival of the white race was more important than the survival of democracy in Europe: “Our bond with Europe is one of race and not of political ideology,” he declared

    …Critics have noticed an apparent influence of German philosopher Oswald Spengler on Lindbergh. Spengler was a conservative authoritarian …

    Lindbergh developed a long-term friendship with the automobile pioneer Henry Ford, who was well-known for his anti-Jewish newspaper “The Dearborn Independent.” In a famous comment about Lindbergh to Detroit’s former FBI bureau chief in July 1940, Ford said: “When Charles comes out here, we only talk about the Jews.”

    Lindbergh considered Russia to be a “semi-Asiatic” country compared to Germany, and he found Communism to be an ideology that would destroy the West’s “racial strength” and replace everyone of European descent with “a pressing sea of Yellow, Black, and Brown.” He openly stated, if he had to choose, he would rather see America allied with Nazi Germany than Soviet Russia. He preferred Nordics, but he believed, after Soviet Communism was defeated, Russia would be a valuable ally against potential aggression from East Asia.

    Lindbergh said certain races have “demonstrated superior ability in the design, manufacture, and operation of machines.” He further said, “the growth of our western civilization has been closely related to this superiority.” Lindbergh admired, “the German genius for science and organization, the English genius for government and commerce, the French genius for living and the understanding of life.” He believed, “in America they can be blended to form the greatest genius of all.”

    …Holocaust researcher and investigative journalist Max Wallace, agrees with Franklin Roosevelt’s assessment that Lindbergh was “pro-Nazi” in his book, The American Axis. However, Wallace finds the Roosevelt Administration’s accusations of dual loyalty or treason as unsubstantiated. Wallace considers Lindbergh a well-intentioned but bigoted and misguided Nazi sympathizer whose career as the leader of the isolationist movement had a destructive impact on Jewish people.

  48. G.E. Post author

    Not familiar with those “racial strength” comments but a lot of the other stuff is bogus.

    The Nazi-like “Bellamy” salute was standard fare in American — another one of those things that’s been whitewashed out of the history books.

    His comments about Jews in the media, etc., is taken out of context. If you read the entire quote, you’d be hard-pressed to disagree.

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