The Iron Lady Leaves with no Apparent Heir

Posted on April 8, 2013 by

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Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) leaves the world a better place than the one she inherited as Prime Minister, but that fact does not diminish our need for her heir to emerge. Along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, the free world was blessed with a talented triumvirate possessed with a clarity of vision and a unity of purpose. They stood astride the globe and determined to lead against forces that assailed them on all sides and they emerged triumphant. While I do not doubt our collective courage, I do doubt our moral clarity, and it is this trait that has, it seems, deserted the West.

Tom Mach and I lead an academic trip to Europe in 2011 and while there we took a bus tour of London. Our guide, a Bristol man, regaled us with stories past and present. As a devoted Labourite, he could not resist heaping praise on President Obama and scorn on Lady Thatcher. He told us about Thatcher’s decision to cut back on government subsidies for school lunches, and he informed us of the schoolyard chant that was invented to discredit her as “Maggie Thatcher, free-milk snatcher.” (Naturally, the good man’s basic ignorance on the nature of “free” went unchallenged. We were, after all, well-mannered as guests.)

Thatcher was the kind of person who inspired great love and great disdain, but that is but one measure of any leader’s influence. Always subjected to ridicule, Thatcher could never be ignored. She, like Reagan, pushed economic reforms when they were needed most and those reforms allowed them to combat Communist scourge wherever they found it.

May God bless Lady Thatcher’s family, for through her he blessed the world. Rest in beloved peace.

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