Friday, August 31, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 8


 
 









 
Celebrate: Jesse Helms is leaving the Senate

Mary Carradine

Party like it's 1999. Dance "the robot," celebrate with the masses… Drink a beer—drink five. Jesse Helms will soon be nothing but a
memory in the United States Senate. After nearly 30 years of racist leadership of North Carolina, the decrepit hate pimp will not seek
reelection in the 2002 senate race.

Oh, this man… Where do I begin? How have we all slept so soundly for all these years, knowing that this man was representing our
country?

Let's talk about how this demon of a politician even came into power. He first ran for the senate in 1972 against another Democratic
politician, who happened to be of Greek descent. The Jesse Helms campaign slogan? "Elect one of us." The VFW Halls emptied.
Pro-segregational mullet-sporters came out of their tool sheds and flocked to the polls—Helms won. When things got tight in Helms'
bid for reelection in 1996, Jesse played the race card in vicious, nationally distributed television ads. Helms was running against a
very popular politician that year, the black former mayor of Charlotte. Helms whipped up a commercial showing a black man taking a
job from a "deserving" white man in order to demonstrate his staunch opposition to affirmative action programs. Sadly, Helms
squeaked out of the race victorious, capturing 52 percent of the vote.

Senator Helms is also a very eloquent speaker. He was once quoted as saying, "If the homosexuals would stop doing what they are
doing, an end would be put to all future cases of AIDS." I love it. The reasoning used here is just beautiful. If homosexuals would
stop having sex, then there wouldn't be AIDS anymore, even though the disease is rampant in heterosexuals as well. Hold the
phone, stop the research teams… I think we've got something here.

Dubbed as "Senator No," Helms was famous for killing political nominations and consistently voting against any remotely intelligent
legislation. School lunch programs for needy children? No. Trade with third world countries? No way. Protect a woman's right to
choose? Come on, are you kidding? Never.

Admittedly, I am a liberal. Of course I'm supposed to disagree with Helms, but if you think it's only Democrats and other liberals
opposing Helms, look again. Even Republicans shun this man. And why should they like him? He is an openly racist and hateful
extremist. Republicans beg for the minority vote year after year, pathetically attempting to court blacks and pulling for Hispanic
support. Helms hasn't acted as anything but an anchor on the party's attempt to break away from perceived racist sentiment.

So he's going out in a blaze of glory. His North Carolinian constituents didn't toss him out of office, and for this I am disappointed.
Hopefully voters will redeem themselves by electing a more tolerant and politically correct candidate in 2002, which shouldn't be a
problem seeing as how the Republican Party will surely tap Elizabeth Dole to run for the vacant seat. Relief, relief—my
embarrassment will soon subside. With such a memorable reign in U.S. politics, Helms deserves to have his jersey retired in the
Senate.

Carradine, a senior computer engineering 
technology major, can be reached at mbcarradine@hotmail.com.


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