With U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Britain’s Iron Lady was half of the first couple of freedom in the pivotal 1980s, when both fought valiantly to stem the growth of socialism and the decline of rugged individualism in their respective nations, while facing down Soviet communism.
Even today, Margaret Thatcher’s courage and certainty with regard to the blessings of liberty continue to inspire. Hardly a day goes by that American conservatives don’t quote her – particularly her timeless observation that, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
It has been a rallying cry in America in recent years, as the current administration seems determined to prove her right.
She was an intellectual giant and one of the strongest female leaders in modern political history.
Yet many, particularly in the overly liberal media, will attempt to tag her with the scarlet letters of “controversial” and “divisive.” Such are the subtle denigrations of conservative champions – words reserved for conservatives who are unswerving and effective. In contrast, a liberal lion would no doubt be admiringly recalled universally as “courageous” and “principled.”
But history will no doubt remember Lady Thatcher as perhaps second only to Winston Churchill in modern British leadership.
She was a stalwart defender of the free enterprise system, and privatized a number of national companies and pruned the unions that had become so powerful and intransigent. She led her nation successfully through the war over the Falklands and left bellicose and chauvenistic Soviet leaders absolutely no doubt where she stood – and little inclination to try to move her off her ground.
In arguing for decisive action on sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Thatcher famously counseled President George H.W. Bush, “This is no time to go wobbly, George.”
Neither is this. As the Iron Lady passes at age 87, socialism’s shadow threatens to overtake hers. And when it comes to standing up for freedom and justice, there’s plenty of wobbly to go around these days.
They say we’ll never see her kind again. Well, we need to, as much as ever.
Margaret Thatcher, more than most every other male leader of her time, was absolute about her beliefs and resolute in acting on them. If they build a Statue of Intrepidity, it will have her face.
And an iron spine.