Not that I want to help out the Republicans, but with the news today of the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, it occurred to me that maybe that is what the GOP needs next time around in the race for the White House. That is their version of Margaret Thatcher. A super strong woman who could articulate conservative values. It would be such a GOP Thatcher vs. no doubt Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, representing of course the more liberal point of view.
No one comes to mind who could fit the bill for the Republicans, but it seems to me that they do indeed need a woman (I mean it seemed the nation couldn’t resist and finally elected a black president, maybe the next time it could not resist a woman — and really who can?). Where they would find a Margaret Thatcher, heaven knows.
With this in mind, I recycle an old post (July 8, 2012). A slightly condensed and edited portion of it follows:
My 101-year-old mom and I were discussing the similarities and dissimilarities between the late President Ronald Reagan and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, both of whom were said to be great friends, sharing political beliefs built on conservatism.
This was not a super serious discussion, but we noted that both were conservatives and both had mental states that declined as they aged, Reagan suffering from Alzheimer’s and Thatcher said to be suffering from dementia of some kind now.
My mom said: well I guess you have to be smart in the first place to lose your smarts (or something to that effect).
I offered that certainly Mrs. Thatcher seemed like one smart lady — quite articulate and quick witted when facing questions before parliament, where the members love to hoot and holler and often try to embarrass the speaker (I love to watch the parliamentary question session because the head of the government has to actually face his or her opposition, live, in person, and see if he or she can withstand the onslaught — and if you are worth your salt, you lose nothing in the process and may gain in stature. And if you can’t stand it, you probably get “sacked” — thrown out — as they say in England, and probably deservedly so).
Got off the track here as often is the case: Anyway, I then noted that although Mr. Reagan was a sharp dresser and probably did present himself well (most of the time) as the head of state of the United States, he was no intellectual, in fact his bulb seemed a bit dull at times. I’m thinking he had at least average intelligence, though, and he at least had the skill to remember his lines, actor by profession that he was, and how to take advantage of having friends and the special interests who supported him.
Mom, lifelong liberal (she proudly proclaims that she is a “bleeding heart liberal”) seemed to agree with that.
What brought up Mrs. Thatcher was that I had been watching some YouTube videos of her and was quite impressed (I had seen her on TV long ago, but this reminded me).
Way back in Reagan’s time she predicted the downfall of the European economy by melding dissimilar economies together in one currency and by leaning toward socialism. Britain kept its pound sterling.
She also had a quick comeback to a Labor Party member who complained about the ever-widening income gap between rich and poor. While I did not pick up on how accurate she was in characterizing what he said, her retort was something like: the right honorable gentleman is quite content for the poor to be poorer, as long as the rich have less. She also charged that socialism stifles opportunity for all.
Mrs. Thatcher did not say anything more than our own conservatives here in the United States do today, but she said it with much more eloquence and authority, but in a matter that was not so harsh, the fact that she was known as the “Iron Lady” notwithstanding.
I’m not turning conservative — I maintain I am middle of the road — but I wish we had our own Margaret Thatcher running for president today.