“Mrs. Thatcher’s predecessor as prime minister, the amiable but forgotten Sunny Jim Callaghan, once confided to a friend of mine that he thought Britain’s decline was irreversible and that the government’s job was to manage it as gracefully as possible. By 1979, even this modest aim seemed beyond the capabilities of the British establishment, and the nation turned to a woman who was one of the few even in a supposedly ‘conservative’ party not to subscribe to the Callaghan thesis. She reversed the decline, at home and overseas. The Falklands War, inconsequential in and of itself, had a huge global significance: After Vietnam, the fall of the Shah, Cuban troops in Africa, and Soviet annexation of real estate from Cambodia to Grenada, the British routing of the Argentine junta stunned everyone from the politburo in Moscow to their nickel ’n’ dime clients in the presidential palaces, all of whom had figured the ‘free world’ no longer had any fight in it.” –Mark Steyn, The Anti-Declinist
“Thatcher understood [feminists] well enough, remarking, ‘I owe nothing to women’s lib.’ Young women, we were told, required female role models. Thatcher’s hero was Winston Churchill. While at Oxford, the grocer’s daughter who grew up without running hot water in her flat majored in chemistry, not women’s studies (a curriculum which didn’t yet exist, but which she would definitely have despised). Her tutor, as it happens, was a female pioneer of x-ray crystallography, who had the effrontery to win a Nobel Prize before the Betty Friedans and Gloria Steinems of the world had supposedly paved the way. … Unlike Hillary Clinton, who rode to power on her husband’s coattails, or world leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Indira Ghandi whose powerful fathers blazed the trail, Thatcher was completely self-made. She never once complained, as Clinton has more than once, that she was unfairly treated because she was a woman. Many a male MP tangled with her to his cost. She never asked for a vote in the name of women’s empowerment. She had no use for such trivialities. She had a country to save.” –Mona Charen, The Least Interesting Fact about Margaret Thatcher
“Margaret Thatcher gave a great nation one final moment of greatness. With Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, she helped bring down an imperial tyranny that had slaughtered tens of millions. And she did it all while being reviled and sniffed at by all the in-the-know intellectuals and sophisticates who thought themselves so much wiser than she.” –Andrew Klavan, Margaret Thatcher, RIP
“Margaret Thatcher was able to see both the moral and practical superiority of capitalism and economic liberty, in an age when the moral superiority of government control was supposed to be accepted without serious question, no matter how badly the State squandered the resources it claimed. It’s a vision that will stand the test of time. She said and did things that will never be forgotten, and when her ideological adversaries complete their decades-long project to prove her right… and have completely run out of other people’s money to spend… a new generation will reclaim the intellectual treasures she left for them.” –John Hayward, The Iron Lady’s Transformation
“Her program was sound money, laissez faire, social fluidity and upward mobility through self-reliance and other ‘vigorous virtues.’ She is the only prime minister whose name came to denote a doctrine — Thatcherism. … When she left office in 1990, the trade unions had been tamed by democratizing them, the political argument was about how to achieve economic growth rather than redistribute wealth, and individualism and nationalism were revitalized.” –George Will, The Vigorous Virtues of Margaret Thatcher
“It took uncommon fortitude for Thatcher to reverse the entrenchment of British socialism, and considerable nerve to go to war when Argentina seized the Falkland Islands. She and Reagan had no guarantees that the West would prevail in the Cold War. What they did have was the moral clarity to understand that it could — and that if they didn’t go wobbly, if they didn’t flinch from calling evil by its name, they might change the world for the better.” –Jeff Jacoby, The Essence of Thatcherism
Bob adds: I don’t mind admitting that I cried when I heard that Margaret Thatcher had died. She was a hero of mine, as were Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. But it was consoling to reflect that the latter two were waiting when Mrs. Thatcher arrived at her final destination, ready to welcome her, make her feel at home, and show her around.