RIP Walter Jones: A Great Patriot & Even Better Man

The liberty movement has lost one of its greatest defenders. Congressman Walter Jones, who represented the 3rd Congressional District in North Carolina, passed away earlier this month at 76 years of age. He passed away on his 76th birthday. Jones represented his constituents in Eastern North Carolina for 34 years between his service in the state senate and House of Representatives, and was anything but your typical member of Congress. Jones drew praise from staunch conservatives and principled liberals alike for his libertarian leanings on foreign policy and domestic spying.

Oddly enough, in an era where being accused of flip flopping is a major political faux pas, it was the reversals of policy stances which Jones took that galvanized the most support for him. Jones became somewhat famous in political circles in 2003 for supporting legislation to change the name of the fries in the cafeteria at the House of Representatives from “French fries” to “Freedom fries”, a jab at the the French for their opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Ultimately, attending the funeral of a fallen Marine, caused Jones to reverse his stance and become one of the greatest anti war champions in the Congress. He would write letters to the relatives of every service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, a plea to God for forgiveness over his mistake in supporting the war. He has since become one of the loudest anti war voices in all of DC, often standing with only a handful of others in calling for the complete removal of combat troops from the Middle East. Ultimately, his anti war credentials would run so deeply that he would become a founding board member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, a non interventionist foreign policy think tank. Ron Paul described Jones as a “hero of peace”, as Jones was sometimes the only Republican willing to stand with Paul in these massive foreign policy fights.

This sincere conviction shone through at the Young Americans for Liberty conference in 2013, where Jones made perfectly clear how he feels about former Vice President Dick Cheney. “Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney” declared Jones, to the roaring cheers of the anti war audience attending the conference. The comments demonstrated just how far this man had come, and just how sincere his moral awakening had been.

Anti war members of Congress are now proposing HR 966, the Walter B Jones Restoring Power to Congress Act, which would repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force granted in the aftermath of 9/11. Passing this legislation would be a truly fitting send off for a man who did so much to spread non interventionist ideas within the Republican Party. Walter Jones, through a change in position, proved to be one of the most morally driven members of Congress. The liberty movement, the nation and the world have lost a truly great man.