" 'I Shall Not' Run for Reelection, Helms Says," Aug. 23: There was great joy among decent Americans across the country with Sen. Jesse Helms' (R-N.C.) announcement that he will not be running again. It would be difficult to envision a more rabid anti-gay man or woman filling his seat. Through legislation and anti-gay speeches on the Senate floor, Helms has done great harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Americans.
Let's hope that North Carolinians will be more selective in electing a new senator. Helms has left a bad taste in the mouth of America and most of the world. I can say honestly that he won't be missed by many.
Good riddance to Helms and Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), who also has decided not to seek reelection. Helms and Thurmond are the two most embarrassing criticisms of our peculiar form of democracy personified: that pathos is used to sway a minority of the population into voting for anachronisms who campaign on fear, hatred and divisiveness. Do us a favor, senators, and don't vote through the rest of your lame-duck terms.