Monday, April 8, 2013

Fairwell, Iron Lady

I saw it first on Facebook: The sad news that Margaret Thatcher departed Earth this morning.

I had not written a eulogy in advance, and will not do her legacy the injustice of hurriedly throwing one together just to publish it with today's date. I will, however, share that one of my first thoughts this morning was this: Now all three are in Heaven.

I am speaking about the three giants who emerged on the world stage in 1979-1980, and proceeded to join forces to slay the Soviet dragon that was then well on its way to chasing freedom from the globe. Those giants were Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II. Seldom has such a triumvirate stepped forward at such a perfect time. Each of the three was unyielding on principle and unblinking when looking into the eye of evil. They complemented one another in pursuit of a shared objective whose attainment was critical to the welfare of humanity.

I shudder to think of what might have happened to the world without them. And I shudder to think of what might still happen if we forget the lessons of their leadership and vision.

I feel blessed that I was coming of age - and paying attention - at the exact point in time when they were acting in the spotlight of history's stage. It allowed me to witness their example and learn from it.

Today I will honor The Iron Lady's memory by offering up her own words. Here are some of my favorite Margaret Thatcher quotes:

Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas?

Don't follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you.

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding, because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

Consensus: 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...What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: I stand for consensus?

If you set out to be liked, you will accomplish nothing.

Of course it's the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.

Being democratic is not enough. A majority can not turn what is wrong into right. In order to be considered truly free, countries must also have a deep love of liberty and an abiding respect for the rule of law.

I am extraordinarily patient provided I get my way in the end.

I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it...They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people...

Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

1 comment:

Fred Alton said...

What a great post, John. I think Thatcher was a very strong leader and always felt a kindred spirit with the exception that I did not understand the Faulkland Islands skirmish. Of course Reagan was one of the greatest leaders we ever had. Sorry. I was unfamiliar with the Pope you mentioned but having read many of your blogs I'm sure that he would have to have been a strong leader as well.