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I'm the author of The Liberty Pole. I dabble a bit in blogging and have a fascination with early American history (late 18th century) as well as WWII. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Remembering Margaret Thatcher

It's interesting to think how posterity may view us. There are so many ways that people are classified: They were part of this generation or that generation. Were they involved with a political or social movement? Did they write anything of great consequence? Did their words touch many? Were they alone, standing apart from their peers, for better or worse? Or, like most, did they simply fade into the crowd? Family will remember for a while and friends might think fondly, but their names will not be left in to the chronicles of time.

I heard someone say recently: people are remembered in history for being either exceptionally evil or exceptionally good.

This past Tuesday I posted on my Facebook account that I had read some very hateful responses to Margaret Thatcher's passing this Monday. I noted that it was interesting that a woman was dead and the the Left was celebrating it. Isn't the Left meant to be the open-minded, open-armed side of politics? There has been celebration in the street, anti-Thatcher groups encouraging people to buy the song "Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead", and, even more recently, our own Senate has blocked a resolution to honor Thatcher in her passing.

I received some interesting responses from the post. Many were positive towards the former Prime Minister, but the one that caught my attention and really started me thinking on this post (because, come on, let's face it, when people you know, people you've gone to school with say things, it has a little more meaning than a journalist in an article) was from an individual that I was acquainted with at university.  His response was as follows:

Thatcher was one [of] the "left's" main opposition during her life. I would expect the same were her affiliation switched and the "right" would be throwing the parties. 

It will always be like this with major figure heads passing. A little out-of-the-box thinking will reveal this.

It's funny, because I don't remember dancing in the street when, say, Ted Kennedy died and he was pretty far to the left in his political opinion. People didn't gather in the street to celebrate his suffering, to sing and to dance and to potentially interrupt the funeral. Many conservatives were not fond of his approach to many subjects, but there was no celebration of death there. Apathy, perhaps, but no celebration. (I did note this to him, but he failed to respond.)

How much do you know about Lady Thatcher? On the day of her death I knew very little beyond she was a staunch leader of the Conservative party in England, had been the Prime Minister in the same time period as Ronald Reagan served as president, and was nicknamed the Iron Lady. (There was also the propaganda posters that showed up in passing on that one Doctor Who episode, but I digress...)

Realizing that I knew very little about her other than these things I did what any 21st century, semi-tech savvy individual does: I googled it. I'm very wary of where content comes from because it tends towards bias (as does my blog, but I'm okay with admitting this openly). I simply do not know enough about British politics to be able to adequately search through multiple websites and decipher how credible they were. Certainly not within enough time for this post. Being that as it was, I settled on what I felt was a fairly safe site for straight-forward, biographical information about Margaret Thatcher: The Margaret Thatcher Foundation.

A few brief tidbits from this overview-biography of an extraordinary woman:

  • She was born a grocer's daughter and rose in politics to be the youngest female political candidate in the UK
  • Though challenged by half a dozen senior colleagues, she became the first woman ever to lead a Western political party and to serve as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
  • She is, currently, the only woman to have held the seat of Prime Minister in England
  • She served from 1979 - 1990
  • She turned the British economy around for the better
  • She survived an attack by the IRA on her life

The Left often speaks of the need for strong women in politics, but when a strong conservative woman comes forward she is met with hate and disdain, such as has been seen in the aftermath of Lady Thatcher's passing. One of the commenters on the Facebook conversation stated that it shows a certain lack of class, and I'm inclined to agree with him.