God bless the queen of democracy
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher acknowledges applauds on Ocotber 13, 1989 at the end of the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool. At left Foreign Secretary John Major and at right Home Secretary John Hurt. (AFP)
There are no Margaret Thatchers on the world stage right now for a real simple human reason: She was unique. She was special. She was exceptional.
I can’t tell you why so many so-called news analysts, pundits and other inflated talking heads can’t simply admit that. Yes, it’s true that today’s pols spend millions of tax dollars polling everything and everyone that moves. But dwelling on the furniture and the plumbing of politics misses the whole point of Margaret Thatcher.
She had a will of iron. She knew who she had to win over, she knew who she had to defeat and she did not shrink from confrontation, whether it was the coal miners’ union, the howling lefties in the opposition ranks, the nervous nellies in her ranks, the dogs of media or the wolves of the Argentine Junta.
She confronted them with determination, even ferocity, not because she was on an ego trip but because she was on a mission to get her country off its soft, fat and wobbly knees.
By the time Thatcher came along in 1979, the self confidence of the average Brit had been eroded, corroded and shredded. And that’s what happens when unemployment is high, inflation is high and your currency is the laughing stock of the world. That’s what happens when unions are striking every single blasted day. You can’t count on public transportation, public mail delivery, public schools or public anything.
But then in 1979, the green grocer’s daughter took over and she faced down her opponents both on the left and the far right. The upper crust hated this shopkeeper’s daughter. She did not have the pedigree of a traditional Tory. She did not have nuance and subtlety.
But she was the first prime minister to have in peace time what Churchill had in war time. She had brass balls. And they delivered rocket fuel to a fine mind, a wit that cut like a knife into the belly of the left-wing beast that Britain had become.
All the pundits talk about how she broke unions and broke a lot of dishes along the way. Well, she did a lot more than that. She broke the thick walls built by upper crust and reinforced by trade unions who benefited from it. They didn’t mind having their members work as carpenters, brick layers, garbage collectors all their lives. The aristocratic right and the unionized left benefited from the opportunity paralysis. But the shopkeeper’s daughter never needed a freaking poll to tell what real people in this tasteless class sandwich needed for their spirits, which were down several pints.
And so she inspired them by making them believe that Britain could be rebuilt by strong individuals once the handcuffs put on them by government, unions and aristocracy were taken off. And so she took them off, though not with subtle, supple manicured hands. She blew those handcuffs off with a blow torch.
Margaret Thatcher has been and continues to be portrayed by the left as an autocrat. In fact, she was the greatest small-d democrat of our time. And there never will be another in our time.
From this shopkeeper’s son to the shopkeeper’s daughter, God bless the queen of democracy, free enterprise and the middle class. Margaret Thatcher.