The world has lost one of its greatest champions of freedom. Margaret Thatcher led Great Britain courageously for more than a decade. During that time, she rolled back the suffocating blanket of Big Government, sparking an economic revival. And she implemented a foreign policy based on the principle that British sovereignty and the freedom of all those under the protection of Great Britain shall not be violated. Nicknamed the "Iron Lady" by the Soviet press after a 1976 speech declaring, "the Russians are bent on world dominance."
Margaret Thatcher has her place in world as well as British history. Her very name is used to denote a way of thinking: Thatcherism. Thatcherism as a powerful collection of beliefs about the capacities of human beings in a political society. The ideas were not new but were put into operation by a very remarkable woman. It was the happy coincidence of the right person, in the right place, at the right time.
It was Thatcher’s partnership with Ronald Reagan that we Americans think of first. It was characterized by loyalty, commitment and a jauntiness that proclaimed success was inevitable. As it proved to be, both in domestic policy and in bringing down the Evil Empire of the Soviets without firing a shot. Mrs. Thatcher spoke constantly of freedom, and the absolute need for America to exert international leadership in the cause of freedom. Thatcher was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush in 1991.
Her achievements were remarkable, starting with the fact of being the only woman Prime Minister in British history -- something America has yet to achieve. She enjoyed 11 and a half years in office, longer than any other 20th century politician. She won three successive general elections, two of them being landslide majorities, and lost none. The secret of her success lies in a combination of qualities, which both saw her into leadership and were the essence of her period in power.
When she became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, Britain was on the brink of disaster, threatened by total collapse. The weak Labour government with a small majority presided over a bankrupt economy in hock to the International Monetary Fund and threatened from within by a challenge to law and order itself. When she was forced from power in 1990, she left a sound economy and a confident and well-ordered society. She loved the jokes claiming she beat her all-male Cabinet ministers with her handbag, and reveled in being the "Iron Lady."
Prime Minister Thatcher is a great example of strength and character, and a great ally who strengthened the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Yes, the special relationship Obama turned his back on since the beginning of his presidency.
Margaret Thatcher was a conviction politician and left a remarkable legacy.
Godspeed Lady Thatcher!