Lady Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s former prime minister and patron of The Heritage Foundation, was a leader who transformed Britain from the sick man of Europe into once again a great nation and an economic powerhouse.
Her death yesterday at the age of 87 is a loss not only for her own country of Great Britain, but also her strong allies in America and across the globe.
Lady Thatcher outlived the vast majority of her adversaries and critics. She was a leader who changed the course of history. In fact, the Thatcher revolution really laid the foundations for the Reagan revolution in the United States.
She was a hugely successful politician because she was always a conviction politician. Lady Thatcher held to a deep-seated set of conservative beliefs. She always stood by conservative principles.
Lady Thatcher always believed firmly in the ideal of American leadership on the world stage. It was her view that without American leadership, this world is a far more dangerous place.
And in order to protect and advance her legacy in the United States, she established the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at Heritage in 2005. It’s the only center in the world that is named after Lady Thatcher. And she set up a center in the Washington, not in London, because she has so much faith in American global leadership.
Heritage has always had a very special place in Lady Thatcher’s heart. I saw her in London just a few months ago in December. She was very cheerful. She was contented. She was very tranquil. And the first question she asked me when I saw her was, “How is The Heritage Foundation doing?” Because she has always felt that Heritage is a special place, that Heritage is a place that protects and defends conservative beliefs.
As we mourn the loss of Lady Thatcher, it’s important for us to remember the importance of moving forward with core conservative beliefs. If Heritage does not defend these very values that Margaret Thatcher fought for, then America will be a far less prosperous society — a society that does not hold onto the beliefs of individual freedom, individual liberty. And for Margaret Thatcher, individual liberty, individual freedom, are what makes the United States a great nation.
So today we pay tribute to the Iron Lady, one of the greatest British politician of our time, one of the greatest figures of modern times, a figure who fought for everything that we believe in as conservatives. And may we go forward now fighting for those principles and advancing the vision of the great Iron Lady.
Nile Gardiner, director of Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, reflected on Lady Thatcher’s legacy at The Heritage Foundation yesterday. To watch Dr. Gardiner’s full presentation, click here.
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