Former Senator and notorious racist Jesse Helms died today. Read the NY Times article here.
Good riddance to bad rubbish. All this questionable individual contributed to the country was a unhealthy dose of angry, white male authoritarianism. And we've had entirely too much of that, from our Puritan forefathers to the pious, religious right of today. Enough already.
For the record, Helms was anti-black; anti-immigrant; anti-gay; anti-feminist and anti-progressive. At that, I've probably left something out. There's a reason Helms was known as "Senator No." A reactionary of the highest order, Helms facilitated the candidacy and rule of Ronald Reagan, who took us down the road to ruin and George Bush. Helms defended Reagan's lawbreaking anti-Nicaragua dirty war, and railed against non-military foreign aid. He's also the dimwit that got family planning removed from the approved list of funding targets for American aid - effectively setting back civilization several hundred years and crippling some of the best known, health-related NGOs in the world. Jesse Helms also fought federal funding for AIDS research. Tooth-and-nail. He thought AIDS was a punishment from god for disgusting behavior. What a guy. Quite simply, we're all a lot better off without Jesse Helms around. Now if Dick Cheney and Antonin Scalia would have the good taste to expire without delay, we'd all be much relieved.