Helms Principles

Shortly after Senator Helms left office, a void was created in the foreign policy debate. The Jesse Helms Center decided to launch a foreign policy program in 2005 entitled The Helms Principles. The programs that will utilize The Helms Principles include a grassroots foreign policy communications school, commentary on foreign policy issues, and various lectures and seminars with prominent speakers. The Helms Principles are comprised of three major components that the Senator used to guide his foreign policy.

They are as follows:

Protect Our National Sovereignty

Our founders understood from the first days of our nationhood that no one can speak for America, but America. We can never be a party to any organization or agreement that removes from this nation the absolute authority to make our own decisions. While it is appropriate to seek cooperation among nations with compatible goals, it is never in our national interest to be a party to agreements that would give any other entity authority over our troops, our trade, our tariffs, our citizens or our policies.

Promote a Strong National Defense

The pages of political history stretching to antiquity illustrate the truth that there is no virtue in ignoring the danger created by insufficient defenses. Nations who have lowered their defenses, with the best of intentions, inevitably found themselves vulnerable to attack by nations with the worst of intentions. Our nation must be firm in its resolve to never have its autonomy or freedom threatened by any enemy. That resolve must be demonstrated by a military force ready to respond to threats to our domestic peace and tranquility from any place, and of any kind. Our military must have the personnel and materials required for any contingency and our people must prize both freedom and the responsibility for insuring it.

Pursue a Moral Foreign Policy

The pursuit of a higher good has always been a part of the American ideal. We are a nation of immigrants, seekers of freedom who have made it our business to welcome the newcomer. We are a nation of idealists, who believe that every human hungers for the freedom we take as our American birthright. We are a nation of brave men and women who know that words of comfort without action are hollow and useless. We are people who cannot ignore the plight of the abused or the threats of tyrants. The United States of America must always measure its foreign policy against the faith guided tenets of our heritage, not against the vagaries of current opinion or selfish self-interest.