Conviction of her core values is probably the one quality that I admire most about Margaret Thatcher. While it was believed that her time to leave this world was coming near; I was, nevertheless, deeply saddened by her passing yesterday.
A lot has been written about her and a lot more will be. Her authorized biography will be published in no time and soon we will know even more about her life, her thought process, her passions and hopefully her challenges. But there is almost universal acceptance in one simple fact — she made a difference. To friends and foes Lady Thatcher might have been a controversial political figure, but one they all understood was a mighty force to be reckoned with.
I appreciated her determination, her disposition, her elegance and certainly her love for her country. It was that unquenchable love for her country that made her resolve as strong as iron.
I admired her from the moment she became prime minister. She made history that day and forever changed the political landscape. While she was the first and so far only woman to be prime minister of England, she never saw herself as a feminist. It seemed like she almost scoffed at the term. Yet there will never be a question that a woman can be as determined, strong willed and ruthless if necessary, as any man capable to govern a country. Whether it was her intent or not, she blazed a trail for women throughout the world.
I got elected to my City Council in 1994 four years after she had left 10 Downing Street, but I confess that deep inside of me, I looked up to her. She was a role model to me. Like her I come from a very humble family and I was the first one in my family to go to college. So secretly I wished to emulate her. I appreciated her determination, her disposition, her elegance and certainly her love for her country. It was that unquenchable love for her country that made her resolve as strong as iron. I love my country just the same, and cherished my position as an elected official. In so doing, I was compelled to follow her example as a public servant.
People that underestimated her did it at their own peril. She was always prepared — her shield was based in a torrent of facts. She would deluge a barrage of facts and figures to the poor soul that dared to challenge her. She earned the respect of her adversaries.
On Monday David Cameron, the current Prime Minister of England, said, "Margaret Thatcher didn't just lead our country — she saved our country. Margaret Thatcher took a country that was on its knees and made Britain stand tall again."
Her clarity of purpose along with her strong convictions of personal responsibility, individual liberty and limited government made it possible for her to turn around her beloved country. Maybe even in the United States we can restore some of those values which have made this country the greatest country on earth and now, I am afraid, it’s at risk of losing with every passing day.
Rest in peace Iron Lady. Rest in Peace.