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Lady T

April 8th, 2013 - 3:22 pm

Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, speaks on July 1, 1991 in London. Photo by David Fowler / Shutterstock.com.

Lady T was one of history’s most remarkable groups of leaders.  Blessed are we who lived at a time of giants, starting with her, Reagan and John Paul II, and onward to Walesa, Havel, Lee Kwan Yu, Deng Xiaoping, Bukovsky and Sharansky.  Scour the world today with that group in mind and your heart sinks.  Such moments are very rare, and she was surely in the front of the amazing assemblage of world-historical figures.  Even the second-raters, like Gorbachev and Mitterrand, look very impressive.

She saved British capitalism, and she gave Britain another generation as an important country.  She spoke magnificently, and she had great courage.  When she told Bush The Elder “Don’t go wobbly,” they both understood that she would certainly not.  It must have frustrated her no end to have to deal with a pale reflection of her pal Ronnie, as it must have annoyed her no end when the Conservatives removed her in favor of their own pale reflection, John Major.  So far as I could tell, they purged her because they just felt it was time to do something different.

She was the first Western leader to say that “we could do business” with Gorbachev, by which she meant he was the ideal gravedigger of his own system.  And she was by far the most clear-eyed of the “Europeans” when it came to the creation of the Eurozone. Here, take off a few minutes and listen to her.  Pay attention to the remarkable clarity of her language, of her delight in political debate, of her sure command of the issues.

More on the next page.

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Top Rated Comments   
As someone whose grandparents were imprisoned in Stalinist Siberia for 5 years and whose parents were born in Soviet dominated countries, I'm very grateful for her role in helping ending those despicable, vile regimes. RIP.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In retrospect, we can glean from Margaret Thatcher's leadership, as well as Ronald Reagan's leadership that they were the right people, at the right time, with "the right stuff" to shift the trajectory of human history. Where would we be now if we didn't have indomitable leaders positioned at the right time, e.g. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, etc. Isn't it revealing that when these leaders commence to bring their leadership to the helm, thousands if not millions are also liberated from oppression? I know that England is divided on Margaret Thatcher's legacy -- remember they wanted Churchill out too -- perhaps, not enough space in time has passed to honor her as she deserves. Margaret Thatcher paid tribute to her husband, Sir Denis Thatcher, in The Downing Street Years, writing "Being Prime Minister is a lonely job. In a sense, it ought to be: you cannot lead from the crowd. But with Denis there I was never alone. What a man. What a husband. What a friend." I say, What a woman. What a leader. What a warrior. Rest in peace, dear lady of strength.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you, Michael, for this article. I especially enjoyed the clip of her in Parliament. She really was MAGNIFICENT! As sharp as a new razor blade and as perceptive as anyone could be....

I hope we see someone like her again soon, preferably leading the United States of America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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She was truly an original &I doubt we'll have anyone like Thatcher again.LIz
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Great list (Teng, really?) but you left out Begin.

We will never see their like.

Side note: The (mostly ceremionial) President of Israel was Chaim Herzog, son of the first Chief Rabbi. So the Presidents of both the US and Israel were Irishmen, yet neither was Catholic nor Anglican.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The last great leader of the West. She truly stood for Liberty and always remembered us, those held captive behind The Curtain. May God rest her soul.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's interesting how one often recognizes true greatness only with the perspective of time. The partnership of Reagan and Thatcher for winning the Cold War as the partnership of FDR and Churchill was for winning WWII. Each can be credited with saving the world. R.I.P., Lady Thatcher.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some of us knew it then. Or at elast as soon as the vaccum was apparent.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As someone whose grandparents were imprisoned in Stalinist Siberia for 5 years and whose parents were born in Soviet dominated countries, I'm very grateful for her role in helping ending those despicable, vile regimes. RIP.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In retrospect, we can glean from Margaret Thatcher's leadership, as well as Ronald Reagan's leadership that they were the right people, at the right time, with "the right stuff" to shift the trajectory of human history. Where would we be now if we didn't have indomitable leaders positioned at the right time, e.g. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, etc. Isn't it revealing that when these leaders commence to bring their leadership to the helm, thousands if not millions are also liberated from oppression? I know that England is divided on Margaret Thatcher's legacy -- remember they wanted Churchill out too -- perhaps, not enough space in time has passed to honor her as she deserves. Margaret Thatcher paid tribute to her husband, Sir Denis Thatcher, in The Downing Street Years, writing "Being Prime Minister is a lonely job. In a sense, it ought to be: you cannot lead from the crowd. But with Denis there I was never alone. What a man. What a husband. What a friend." I say, What a woman. What a leader. What a warrior. Rest in peace, dear lady of strength.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What we have lost in Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher is the notion that the price of freedom, is the willingness to fight for it.

We have stood on their shoulders so long, we have gone weak in the knees and can no longer stand for ourselves. We shame them, with our cowardice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I know this is quibbling, but I have to add to the rolls Vaclav Havel. This was a generation that stood against a tide like the gates of Vienna and saved the heritage of Westerndom. She is missed. RIP
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you, Michael, for this article. I especially enjoyed the clip of her in Parliament. She really was MAGNIFICENT! As sharp as a new razor blade and as perceptive as anyone could be....

I hope we see someone like her again soon, preferably leading the United States of America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“I hope we see someone like her again soon, preferably leading the United States of America.”
Your point is well taken!

“Precisely at the time where one king arises to pillage our possessions and destroy us, another shall arise to protect and save us…This is an important lesson for future generations.” Nachmanides

We must keep faith, as in, “Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the result of this faith is to see what we believe.” St. Augustine

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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