Remembering Margaret Thatcher

Once in a while, it's good to take a break from the political fights and remember some great people from our past.

We remember Margaret Thatcher, who was born yesterday in 1925.  She passed away at 87, and the New York Times wrote an obituary called "'Iron Lady' Who Set Britain on New Course."

Margaret Thatcher came to my attention in the late 1970s.  I remember sitting with my dad in the car and hearing that the next prime minister of the U.K. could be a woman.  It was a headline about her being named leader of the Conservative Party.

Back in the late 1970s, the U.S. and U.K. looked like a couple of allies lost against the threat of an advancing USSR.  Right or wrong, it felt as if the left was winning and the good guys were stuck in a "malaise."

She did become Prime Minister Thatcher and put her cards on the table quickly: "I am not a consensus politician," she said.  "I am a conviction politician."

Thatcher led the U.K. with determination and grit.  She was a leader in every sense, an "in your face" kind of woman who reminded many of us of our mothers.  Like a good mom, she knew when to look you in the eye and tell you the truth!

One of the early tests of leadership was the U.K. economy.  She animated the Conservatives into the party of reform.  Her free-market policies revitalized businesses, grew the economy, and helped the middle class.

During her tenure, the U.K. fought for the Falklands and reversed much of the misguided socialism of the postwar period.

Later, P.M. Thatcher and President Reagan turned into a great team, especially as they stood up to the USSR.  I recall watching her on TV supporting the Polish labor uprising.  It felt so good to watch a European leader standing up for something rather than the usual "look the other way" approach.

We remember the great P.M. Thatcher.  She was one of the great ladies of the 20th century and one of the greatest U.K. prime ministers ever.

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