Long-Serving Republican Senator Passes Away

Long-Serving Republican Senator Passes Away

James Inhofe, a notable Oklahoma Republican and steadfast member of the ideological right in the U.S. Congress, has died at the age of 89.

Inhofe’s career was marked by his strong opposition to environmental regulations and his fervent support of American military strength. He was well-known for rejecting climate change science, calling it a hoax. The Tulsa World reported his death, citing sources close to his family. The details regarding services are yet to be announced, the report indicated.

An avid aviator, Inhofe famously flew around the world in 1991, retracing the path that aviation pioneer Wiley Post had taken six decades earlier.

Representative Kevin Hern, R-Okla., described Inhofe as a “dear friend and mentor, a titan in Oklahoma, and a highly effective leader in D.C.” Hern added, “Tammy and I are keeping Kay and the rest of the Inhofe family in our prayers. Jim spent his life in service to his country, both in uniform and in the halls of Congress. He will always be remembered as a fighter, especially for our military service members.”

Before his extensive tenure in the U.S. Senate, James Inhofe served as the mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second-largest city, and then spent eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He was elected to the Senate in 1994 and became the longest-serving and oldest senator from Oklahoma. Inhofe retired in 2023 at the age of 88, citing the long-term effects of COVID-19 as the reason for stepping down.

Known as one of the most conservative senators, Inhofe often used sharp language against his political and ideological opponents. As chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, he was a leading voice for Republicans on climate change issues.

“You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that’s their strategy,” he said about environmentalists, scientists, and public officials who supported the theory that manmade emissions are altering the earth’s climate. He compared the strategy to “the Third Reich, the big lie.”

While few dispute that the planet’s climate patterns are changing, many are unconvinced that human activity is the primary cause.

For decades, left-wing groups aligned with the Democratic Party have made apocalyptic claims about the world and the climate. For instance, in the 1960s, they claimed “overpopulation” would destroy the world, yet today, most advanced countries are experiencing population decline.

In the 1970s and 80s, these groups and political leaders alternated between warnings of “global warming” and “global cooling,” with mid-70s articles in Time and Newsweek famously predicting another “ice age.”

Eventually, the term “climate change” became the standard, with celebrities and politicians making dire predictions that the world was on a path to destruction unless drastic measures were taken to ‘curb emissions,’ which financial experts warned could harm the economy.

None of these predictions have materialized, and Inhofe made a career of highlighting this fact.

In a radio interview to promote his 2012 book “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” Inhofe, a conservative Christian, expressed his views on climate change in religious terms.

“My point is, God’s still up there,” Inhofe said. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is, to me, outrageous.”

As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Inhofe was a staunch advocate for a strong American military presence worldwide and supported substantial defense spending. He notably diverged from a president of his own party, Donald Trump, by advancing the annual defense policy bill in 2020, demonstrating his commitment to defense issues irrespective of political alignment.

In 2004, the United States faced widespread international criticism when images emerged of American personnel mistreating prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, Iraq. The disturbing photos showed U.S. soldiers appearing to mock and degrade prisoners, who were placed in dehumanizing poses, such as being stacked in a naked human pyramid and positioned in simulated sexual acts.

At the time, Inhofe said he was “more outraged at the outrage.”

“I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders crawling over these prisons looking for human rights violations while our troops – our heroes – are fighting and dying,” he said during a Senate hearing.

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