Strong partnerships often are fostered by a shared vision. Those shared visions are amplified and put on the world stage when they include two strong personalities. One half of such a twosome died this week with Monday’s passing of Margaret Thatcher, 87.
Thatcher, former British prime minister, was a strong ally of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. They shared a conservative political agenda with a strong sense of self-determination, personal responsibility and economic freedom without a dependence on a welfare state. Both also were nationalists with strong patriotic advocacy for their respective countries.
The “Iron Lady,” as she was known to people across the globe, had strong convictions and didn’t hesitate to use her voice and power to help her country and the world. That conviction wasn’t always pleasant to implement, especially when it included austerity measures toward her country’s people. Though those moves were said to widen the gap between the haves and have-nots in Britain, she continued to be elected three times and served for 11 years — the longest term of service for any British politician. Though she was hard-headed, she accomplished her goals and brought a strong sense of pride back to Britain.
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman,” Thatcher reportedly said in 1965. Perhaps that attitude helped in her relationship with Reagan, since he was an articulate communicator while she forged ahead with getting the work of the U.S. and Britain done. That work included an alliance with the U.S. during the Cold War to protect the two nations and their people from the Soviet Union.
Later in life, Thatcher followed the same path as Reagan, with dementia for her and Alzheimer’s disease for him, but that didn’t lessen the legacy either of these partners left in their wake.
Thatcher was a well-educated woman with a strong will and high moral values. Though she described her role as prime minister as “a lonely job” in her memoir, “The Downing Street Years,” she persevered with the conviction of her principles. She will be remembered for those very qualities that helped to improve her country as well as the U.S. The Iron Lady knew how to get things done and, for that, we all are better.
— Jeanny Sharp,
editor and publisher