Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher: Loved By Republicans And Conservatives In America, Reviled In Her Homeland!

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died yesterday at the age of 87, leaving behind her much discussion of her impact on her nation, on America, and on the world.

Without doubt, Thatcher was the most significant Prime Minister of Great Britain since Winston Churchill, and was the most significant woman leader of the 20th century anywhere in the world.

Without doubt, she transformed the world by her alliance with President Ronald Reagan, and convincing him that working with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, the Cold War could come to an end and lead to the downfall of the Soviet system in eastern Europe.

Without doubt, Thatcher had a dramatic effect on domestic politics in her country, with her strong anti labor, anti immigrant policies, gaining a reputation as the Iron Lady who never compromised on her beliefs and created great social and political turmoil that still reverberates in a nation in the midst today of a failing austerity program, that should demonstrate what America should not be doing with its own economy!

But instead of Republicans and conservatives idolizing her for her hard line economic and social policies, they should learn from her ascendancy what happened to the opposition Labour Party, which had gone too far to the left, and was brought by default to the middle of the political spectrum, ultimately leading to the triumph of Prime Minister Tony Blair and a moderated party.

And this is what the extremist right wing Republican Party of 2013 so far has failed to accept—that their party has gone off the deep end in the era of Barack Obama, the first African American President, and that they will NOT come back to power on the national level as long as they veer ever further to the far Right, allowing right wing Christianity, right wing talk show hosts, and extremists on social and economic issues to continue to wield power over their future in the form of the Tea Party Movement!

Just as Margaret Thatcher led to Tony Blair over time, Barack Obama will lead, it is hoped, to a Republican Party more in the mold of the GOP of the 1960s and 1970s—the party of moderate conservative leaders who could appeal to a wide swath of Americans, rather than a narrow ideological group which causes a bad name and reputation for the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and the Reagan who was much more moderate in many ways than conservatives paint him to have been!

Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Margaret Thatcher, And Ronald Reagan Mythology

It is a well known fact that Ronald Reagan has been mythologized by conservatives and Republicans to be an icon, a God like figure.

Therefore, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are competing to try to show themselves to have been supportive and worked with Ronald Reagan during his Presidency, when the record is extremely clear that both men during and after the Reagan Presidency were constantly critical of Reagan and his domestic, economic and foreign policies on a regular basis. It makes one wonder how ANY Republican could back either Gingrich or Romney,and also why Michael Reagan, the President’s adopted son, is so in favor of Gingrich, when most conservatives are running away from him.

But also, there is the image out there that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was extremely close to Reagan during the 1980s, but now a new book shows just the opposite, how often Thatcher and Reagan clashed on many issues, particularly in foreign policy.

So the voters of Florida and elsewhere are being lied to on a regular basis by both Gingrich and Romney, and they are making fools of themselves in their quest for votes. Their pandering to Cuban American voters about their intentions to rid Cuba of Fidel Castro has led to the Cuban dictator, now age 86, commenting that the GOP Presidential race involves candidates who are both “ignorant and idiotic”!

One does not have to endorse Castro to say, that on this matter, he is absolutely correct!

The British Parliamentary Election: Lessons For America And The GOP

The British parliamentary elections brought a lot of attention in the past few weeks due to the fact that, for the first time, the candidates for Prime Minister debated, an idea adopted from the American Presidential elections belatedly, but now there will be no chance to back off from such debates in the future!

It was also noted that the Liberal Democrats, the small third party represented in the House of Commons, was perceived as running a competitive race, and its candidate for Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, came across as charismatic and appealing in a way not typical for British politics. Of course, in reality, the hype for the Liberal Democrats was much greater than the result, as there was disappointment in the actual performance in relation to seats gained.

Also, the Conservative party, angling to regain control of government for the first time in thirteen years, ran a campaign promoting a more centrist view, and showing interest and concern for social reforms that could appeal to middle class voters. David Cameron, its candidate for Prime Minister, ran a masterful race of moderate centrist conservatism, and although the Conservative Party did not gain a majority of the House of Commons, it came out as the number one party in seats, and will be working to gain support of enough Liberal Democrats to form a government. The whole idea of a third party having a crucial role in formation of what has basically been a two party system forever is a stunning development!

The lessons for America is that even with all of the expectations that may exist for a third party, it will, invariably, disappoint in actual result, as shown in Great Britain today and in America many times in the past!

The closest situation in America that may remind one of the pivotal role, despite disappointment in seats gained in Parliament, of the Liberal Democrats in Britain would be the all time greatest and most influential third party in American history, the Bull Moose Progressives of 1912, who ran Theodore Roosevelt for President, ended up second in popular and electoral votes, won the most states (6) ever of a third party, and threw the election to Woodrow Wilson, the second lowest percentage winner of the Presidency in American history! Otherwise, third parties have been great disappointments, although at times affecting election results in minor, rather than major, ways!

The lesson for the Republican party is that the Conservatives only ended up first because of their moderation and centrism, but the indications are that the GOP will NOT learn from the British example, and will continue to veer to the far right, and likely lose most of the American people in the process! Regaining of political power, historically, has been by the moderate, centrist route!

The Conservatives in Britain came to the realization that they could not win by copying Margaret Thatcher! The Republicans need to realize that they cannot win by copying Ronald Reagan! The past is the past, and to win, they must look to reality of where most people are when they vote–the moderate center!