April 16 2013
We should hang our heads in shame that President Obama’s delegation to Lady Margaret Thatcher’s funeral is being called a snub in England.
She was the U.K.’s greatest post-war prime minister and was joined at the hip with Ronald Reagan in many of the most important projects of modern times.
Yet not a single member of the Obama administration or a single former president is included in the U.S.’s delegation to her funeral. The first lady and vice president, who recieved invitations, apparently had better things to do.
Lady Thatcher, of course, was the repudiation of much of what President Obama believes. Her success in rejuvenating England's economy stands in marked contrast with the puny economic “growth” the United States has experienced in a succession of recovery summers under President Obama.
While President Obama believes that, if you have created a small business, you didn’t really build it, Lady Thatcher was quite certain of just the opposite. While our president is the apotheosis of cool, Margaret Thatcher was not in the least cool. Instead she was great. (See “The Lady’s Not for Jumping” video to contrast their styles.)
One of the nicest pieces on Thatcher is by the scholar Gertrude Himmelfarb in the Weekly Standard. It is about Thatcher as an exponent of Victorian virtues. Himmelfarb and Thatcher had met when they were both participants in a London conference on Victorian values. It took place in 1987, shortly before Lady Thatcher’s final electoral victory.
Victorian values were a prominent and much disputed theme in her campaign. Replying to a television interviewer who observed, rather derisively, that she seemed to be approving of Victorian values, she enthusiastically agreed. “Oh, exactly. Very much so. Those were the values when our country became great.” In another interview, again responding to a critic, she said that she was pleased to have been brought up by a Victorian grandmother who taught her those values. She went on to enumerate them: hard work, self-reliance, self-respect, living within one’s income, cleanliness next to godliness, helping one’s neighbor, and pride in one’s country. “All of these things are Victorian values,” she assured him. “They are also perennial values.”
It was Victorian virtues, not government handouts, that made England great.
It was government handouts, not Victorian virtues, that led to England's decline.
Let's see is there a message somewhere in there that might not appeal to the current U.S. administration?