“The best way to honor Baroness Thatcher is to crush liberalism and sweep it into the dustbin of history,” said Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) in a statement released upon news that the “Iron Lady” had passed away from a stroke at the age of 87 Monday.
Stockman, who has recently gained notoriety for a dubious attempt to impeach President Barack Obama for proposing gun safety legislation, is not alone in making Thatcher’s death a rallying cry for conservatives. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), in barely readable English, tweeted on Monday, “GreatBritain is a greater nation today from MargaretThatcher leadership.she saved the island fr its Socialist economy &gaveMORALleadership” (yes, seriously).
The latter-day love for Thatcher, and the subsequent historical revisionism currently being engaged in by the supposed liberal media is nauseating. Much like after the passing of Ronald Reagan, the media and Thatcher’s supporters have turned the Iron Lady into a veritable saint.
But there’s a reason that Judy Garland’s “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” has reached the No. 1 spot on the?UK’s iTunes chart. Thatcher, far from being universally loved, was, in her own time and today, a controversial figure.
She never managed to form a government with more than 44 percent of the vote. She was ejected from the leadership of her own party following a disastrous plan to institute a poll tax in 1990. She, like Reagan, presided over a dramatic shift in wealth from the middle and working classes to the upper class, reducing tax rates on the wealthy and smashing the power of organized labor.
Thatcher, like Reagan, is often remembered because of how she handled the Cold War. Thatcher and Reagan alike supported the brutal Pinochet regime in Chile. Far from the freedom fighter that both Reagan and Thatcher hailed him as, Pinochet presided over the institutionalization of thousands in concentration camps and outright political murder.
In addition to supporting the murderous Pinochet regime, Thatcher and Reagan gave a lot of love to the racist apartheid regime of South Africa. Reagan vetoed congressional condemnation of the regime, only to be overruled.
Both gave a good deal of moral support (and in Reagan’s case, material support) to the Nicaraguan death squads that murdered nuns, among others that the Reagan administration thought were reds.
Reagan and Thatcher might have moved on to greener pastures, but their policies haven’t.
Conservatives in the United States and the United Kingdom still praise the leadership of two politicians whose greatest claim to fame will be their undermining of, and destruction of, middle class societies in the US and the UK.
The question remains: when are we going to wise up to the snake oil salesmen like Reagan and Thatcher?
Column by Devin Griggs, opinion editor. Devin serves as vice president of finances for the Murray State College Democrats.