“Thank you Brooke Rollins for a fitting eulogy of The Iron Lady. I have a son named Reagan and really wanted to name my daughter “Thatcher” but my wife said that was just too much! She inspired a generation of conservatives and I am thrilled to tell you all that there is now a new generation of Thatcher like young patriots coming out of Patriot Academy” – Rick
This morning brings sad news: Margaret Thatcher is gone.
The generation who remembers the Cold War is a minority now. As I pointed out after last November’s elections, the youngest person to ever cast a ballot for Ronald Reagan is now 46 years old — and not coincidentally, that age was the dividing line in that vote between a majority for the challenger, and the supermajority for the incumbent. As the memory of the Cold War, and the principles that drove it, fade, so does our understanding of ourselves change … and not always for the better.
Yet we are a long way from the extinguishing of that memory, and so as we receive the news of Thatcher’s passing, we find cause to mourn and to celebrate. We mourn because she is gone, and with her goes the last of the giants who saved the world in the harrowing days of the Cold War’s height. We forget, although we must never forget, how desperate we were at the close of the 1970s. The Communist empire was on the move, and the list
of nations fallen to tyranny just in that decade contained within them an appalling catalogue of violence and despair: Nicaragua. Afghanistan. Ethiopia. Angola. Mozambique. South Vietnam. Cambodia. Laos. In Europe itself, the balance of force favored the Soviet Union, and a crisis of confidence seized the West.
Out of that crisis came deliverance. Leaders whom the appalling depths of the 1970s gave us no right to expect emerged from the spirit — and the democracies — of the time:
Pope John Paul II
Together, though not always in concert, they challenged the moral legitimacy of the Soviet empire — and won. Thatcher herself inherited a dispirited Britain, wracked by class conflict and beholden to the false promises of socialism, and liberated it into the light of its best self. She found a faded center of empire, and left it a vital and vigorous pillar of the free world. She found a Europe split into free and tyrannized camps, and left it wholly free.