Why did I, a religious conservative Millennial, love a British Prime Minister whose best work was done while I was still a little tyke running around my parent’s house in Scooby-Doo underwear?
The simplest (and shortest) answer is this: She was walking, talking proof that for the vast majority of conservatives we simply DO NOT care who articulates and defends our values – we just want them articulated and defended in real, meaningful ways. Her being a woman was as irrelevant to my deep respect for her as was her favorite food (which, being British, I can only assume was something gross).
The most remarkable thing about Margaret Thatcher is that she actually existed. She actually was elected and governed. She really did publicly call out unions. She really did find ways to properly talk about the importance of faith and family in inspiring ways. She really did explain free enterprise and why it was that economic freedom is a pre-requisite for liberty (and not a nuisance to be traded away for empty promises of “free stuff” from Big Brother).
To a young conservative like yours truly she sounds more like a Fairy Tale than anything else. I’m not as amazed by why she did, but by the fact that she was actually given the opportunity to do them.
You can call the deep fondness many of us on the Right have for the memories and legacies of Thatcher and Ronald Reagan silly, backward-looking, or whatever else. Neither was perfect. Neither claimed to be. And anyone who deifies them or substitutes their good names for a lack of personal accomplishments (and/or convictions) in an attempt to get elected is an idiot.
But none of that changes the fact that these were remarkable leaders. They reminded millions of people in the West that the tradition of liberty-loving Heads of State did not die in the 20th century. They are reminders of what could be. They took their watches on the walls of the city and we were all better off for it.