The American conservative movement has many celebrated leaders but one is distinctly not American. Margaret Thatcher is a hero to the conservative movement because she was conservative to her core and did not waver to the socialist tilt that had befallen Great Britain during the 1970s. Her leadership brought Great Britain out of a steep decline that would serve as a beacon of hope for the Reagan Revolution here in America.
One of my favorite quotes by Margaret Thatcher is from 1981 at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where she said:
“To me consensus seems to be —the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no-one believes, but to which no-one objects. —the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead.” What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?”
Now more than ever do these words ring true. Many conservative Members of Congress should have this poignant statement seared into their brains. What Margaret Thatcher was getting at is conservatives must stand for their beliefs, and not compromise them for the sake of compromising.
Born a grocers daughter, Margaret Thatcher came up through a middle class family. Unlike some in British politics, she was not part of the aristocracy and rose through the ranks of the Conservative Party to eventually become the first and only woman Prime Minister. She was a trailblazer who not only took on socialist thought in her native England, but also took the Soviet Threat head-on. She actually got her moniker “The Iron Lady” from the Soviet press.
Margaret Thatcher, President Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II made it their mission to rid the world of Communism and they succeeded with the fall of the Soviet Union. The three formed a resolute triad that broke through the Iron Curtain and would bring democracy to millions of people. When newly minted Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel visited Great Britain for the first time after the fall of Communism, Margaret Thatcher said:
“Mr. President, nothing has more distinguished and dignified our age than the struggle for human rights and freedom in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. It was a campaign conducted against tremendous, sometimes overwhelming odds; it demanded courage and conviction of the highest order.”
Lady Thatcher should have looked into a mirror when speaking those words because she encapsulated them as well. Citizens United Production released Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny four years ago where we looked at how the relationships between Thatcher, Reagan, and Pope John Paul II shaped the world for the better. In the documentary you hear from the people who were there like Vaclav Havel who give an intimate portrait of how these three exceptional leaders stared down Communism.
Margaret Thatcher was the last of the triad to pass on. She will go down as one of the greatest British Prime Ministers to have ever lived. A title she did not seek, but one she earned for what she has done for liberty for both her own countrymen and those who were oppressed by Communism.