Wizbang writer Lorie Byrd offers up a defense of fellow North Carolinian Senator Jesse Helms, who recently passed away at the age of 86. In her post Byrd finds the words to not only praise the hateful bigot Helms, but finds time to suggest to liberals that there is something we can learn from Helm's life and legacy.
For a completely different (and more accurate) view of Helms and his legacy I recommend Paul Hooson's post here on Wizbang Blue titled "Stupid Bigot, Jesse Helms Dead At 86," but reading Byrd's post and the comments made by conservative readers offers an interesting insight into the conservative, bigoted mind.
Byrd, a North Carolinian, stands up to praise Helms, speaking against liberals who've denigrated Helms in his passing:
It might be easier for those who hated Helms to hold on to their caricature of him as a hate-filled bigot who was only in office because voters in NC are backward hicks, but that is not the reality.
Her self-esteem seemingly wounded by the many disparaging remarks made about Helms on the occasion of his passing, Byrd rises up to speak forcefully in defense of racial and social bigotry, suggesting we Americans should ignore the underlying hatred and un-American ideology practiced by Helms, and focus instead on the force and determination with which he practiced his hatred against his fellow Americans.
The way Helms always said what he believed, without apology, and stood by those words with actions is the thing that so many are yearning for in a politician today -- whether they be on the left or right.
Byrd seems to suggest that it's okay to practice bigotry and hatred, as long as you (1) publicly proclaim your bigotry forcefully, and (2) not back down or apologize when challenged.
Byrd quotes... herself, linking back to a post she wrote on the ultra-conservative "Townhall" website which she titled "A Lesson Even Liberals Can Learn from Jesse Helms." Byrd moderated her extremism when writing her subsequent posting on Wizbang, using the more diplomatic title "Something those on the left and right can learn from Jesse Helms" instead. Byrd herself backs off of the "something liberals can learn" position in her post on Wizbang. Yes, she has something to learn from the loud-mouthed Helms all right. He wouldn't have moderated his headline.
Thanks for the lesson, Lorie, that bigotry can be spread by praising those who practice it and by denigrating those liberals who speak up against it, but please -- spare us your pedantic preachings. We liberals have already learned well from the likes of Helms, and we'll speak forcefully and without apology against bigotry in America.
Paul Hooson spoke for me and I'm sure for many other liberals as well when he outlined Helms history and legacy of hatred.
I'd like to be able to say at least one good thing about Helms at this time. But I just can't think of anything good to say about him. He was the absolute worst. The voters of North Carolina were complete fools to ever elect him to any public office. In most U.S. states a guy like this wouldn't be elected dog catcher. Helms was ever so lucky to live in a state where his very limited intellectual and reasoning skills were deemed good enough to help him get elected U.S. senator in the first place.
As long as pockets of hatred and bigotry exist in corners of the United States, and Byrd demonstrates that the tradition of bigotry is alive and well in North Carolina, our "imperfect union" will still need mending.
By idolizing a bigot like Helms, Byrd does her best to carry on and defend that tradition of hateful bigotry, and we liberals should do our best to speak forcefully and without apology against it.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!