For years now the vitriol that Senator Jesse Helms has directed against anyone who is not a white, heterosexual, small town southerner, has made him the "Great Satan" of liberal politics. Recently, even conservatives have turned against Helms.

Helms is now up for re-election. Competing in The May 7, 1996 Democratic primary, which will choose Helm's opponent, are Harvey Gantt, a distinguished Black politician and Charles Sanders, the white former chairman of Glaxo (a large drug company). One of the major factor's said to be in Mr. Sander's favor is that he is white and so has a better chance of beating Helms. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 1996, Albert R. Hunt writes:

There is little doubt that Sen Helms will run a vicious campaign no matter his opponent; he recently fired his media consultant after he'd run a series of ads attacking the Democrats for supporting racial quotas in hiring (they don't) and trying to link them to homosexuals. But fear not, Republicans say. Jesse hasn't changed; he simply thought these attacks were premature.

Its outrageous that conservatives who claim they're not bigots countenance, even support, the fear-mongering intolerance that is Helms trademark. In the closing days of the 1990 election the Helms campaign ran a vitriolic commercial depicting a black man taking a white man's job, but no prominent Republican has ever condemned that. Yet when a black politician, whether it's Jesse Jackson or Gus Savage, slanders a white group, conservatives immediately demand, with justification, this be denounced by other Democrats.


Harvey Gantt won the Democratic primary. In a Wall Street Journal article on October 31, 1996, just before the general election, Albert R. Hunt wrote:

On the Republican side is that apostle of malice, North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms. One of the reasons African-Americans are likely to turn out in goodly numbers to vote Democratic next Tuestday is that the message of hate resonating from the Jesse Helmeses too often has overwhelmed the message of hope coming from Jack Kemp. After feigning a softer new image, the four-term senator is back to his old tricks in the election against Harvey Gantt, an African-American who rose from poverty to become a successful architect and mayor of Charlotte. This is a rerun of 1990, when Mr. Helms won narrowly by playing to racial fears.

The front-running Sen. Helms now has a TV ad accusing Mr. Gantt of using his race as part of a partnership to win a TV contract years ago and separately to win an architectural contract; the allegations are wrong but when it comes to playing the race card, facts never bother Jesse Helms. Another favorite Helms ploy is to try to intimidate blacks from voting, a charge that was successfully brought against him by the Bush Justice Department. Given his history, the final days of this campaign will be ugly.

November 5, 1996

I am sad to report that Harvey Gantt was narrowly defeated by Jesse Helms. Appearently only the ultimate effect of Helms' old age will rid us of the Great Satan of the Republican party. With 94% of the vote counted, the vote was:

Candidate Party Votes Percent
Jesse Helms GOP (i) 1,210,871 52.4%
Harvey Gantt Dem 1,066,664 46.2%
Ray Ubinger Lbt 22,557 1.0%
J. Victor Pardo NtLw 9,871 0.4%

Table courtesy of Politics Now

Responses to this web page

I'm always surprised at what people respond to on my Web pages. No one, for example, has noticed the implications of the Bear Transfer Protocol software. Perhaps they have never heard of Avanti. Although the Web pages on have a growing volume of material and only a tiny fraction mentions Jesse Helms, every once in a while I get e-mail regarding this web page and the associated web page, all of it pro-Helms.

Clearly Senator Helms is popular in his district, which explains why the rest of us are "blessed" with his continued presence in the Senate. I suppose that Helms gives the Europeans (especially the French) something to laugh about. But even for those who like to make fun of Americans, the defeat of the treaty to ban the testing of nuclear weapons, one of Helm's "finest" movements, is hard to laugh about.

One correspondent was outraged that I referred to Helms as "The Great Satan of the Republican Party". For those ignorant of foreign affairs (and Helms supporters do tend to be ignorant), this is a joke based on the way the Iranian Islamic fanatics refer to the United States.

Then there was the person who chastised me for not providing a forum for responses to my slanders against the great one (that would be Helms). I love Republicans with a sense of entitlement. OK, so I'll provide a forum already. Here, for your amusement, with the names changed to protect the guilty is the latest e-mail, with my response.

Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 17:24:29 EST
Subject: Jesse Helms

Spewing hate and slander will bring you nothing but bad karma

Subject:  Jesse Helms

I find it pretty amusing to see this applied to Jesse Helms. To a Christian Fundamentalist like Helms the very idea of "karma" (a Hindu concept) is something that only an infidel would believe in. Helms and his supporters would tell you that all those who are not "born again in Jesus Christ" are doomed to the fires of hell. This includes all Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, and, in Helms' lexicon, especially those who follow Islam.

Then there is the amusing idea of "spewing hate". Perhaps you are not familiar with Jesse Helms' past as a segregationist and his support for various racist causes. Or his current stand against gay people, most recently Ambassador Hormel.

If there is "karma" then Helms has many turns on the wheel left before he can work out the hate he has spewed. As far as I'm concerned, it is always right to take a stand against those who favor repression in thought and action. Helms is the very poster boy for repression.

So if you're not a white male Christian (and with a username like Ali XXXXX it does not sound like you are) you should find out more about Helms and his past. Ignorance is not bliss. But in your case its pretty amusing.

The Evil One may be headed for retirement, but he's not there yet and his supporters continue to provide amusement. Apparently criticism of Mr. Helm's reactionary politics and racism is whining (that with an 'h' folks). My spelling is notoriously terrible, but at least when I'm whining about small minded racists, I know how to spell whine.

Subject: Jesse Helms
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 00:18:01 -0500

I read your article on Jesse Helm's and it sounds like your a real winer. I guess your just like all the other software Nerds I work with, who have alot of free time on their hands and do nothing productive except wine like babies about everything.

Given the hours I work its funny to read that I have "lots of time on my hands". Check out my Web pages on signal processing to find out how I spend my spare time.

Requiem for "The great Helmsman"

The great bete noir of liberal politics, Jesse Helms, announced today, August 22, 2001, that he will not seek re-election in 2002. Sick and enfeebled, Helms has decided to retire from 30 years of trouble making. An appropriate eulogy, recounting the highlights of Helms' career of obstructionism, racism and hemophobia, was penned by Eric Alterman and published on MSNBC. With Helms' retirement, as Alterman notes, liberals and anyone with any intellect, lose their Great Satan of the right wing. But take heart my friends, Orin Hatch, Trent Lott, Bob Barr, Henry Hyde and the editorial page writers of the Wall Street Journal remain with us.

Eric Alterman is a liberal journalist who has also written for The Nation which probably makes him a communist, if not a homosexual, in the Helms lexicon. For a less partisan view on Helm see Eleanor Clift's article, also in MSNBC, Life After Helms. One quote from this article, which reinforces the theme of this web page:

Unlike South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, who made his peace with African-Americans and voted for the Voting Rights Act in 1982, Helms remained rooted in whites-only politics. He never voted for a civil-rights measure. "He represented North Carolina as though blacks were not voting," says Merle Black, a professor of political science at Emory University. "He has always been a voice for nativist, white conservatives in North Carolina."

April 1996
Revised: September 2001

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