Working on Capitol Hill for a conservative Florida congressman during the Reagan years, I was surrounded on his staff by young, bright, very feminist women. The rage of one summer morning was a WSJ article about that year’s summer Shakespeare in the Park festival in New York where a woman would be playing Hamlet. The sisters thought it a triumph that women were getting the chance to play such meaty roles.
This lot treated me, pushing 40 even then and the office dinosaur, with a mix of affection and tolerance. They asked me, in something between a josh and a challenge, what I thought of this empowering theatrical advance. I said I thought this gender fluid approach was fine, took a beat, and then added that perhaps next year Richard Burton could play Lady Macbeth. They threw small objects at me. But as they threw like girls, I was in no danger.
To repair things a bit, I told my associates that I had decided who I hoped would replace Ronnie when he had to leave the White House. I added that I was sure they would be happy to know that my choice was a woman. They brightened, but, with good reason, remained a bit suspicious. One took the bait and asked who my choice was. I said I would be willing to trade the Brits George H. W. Bush and several high draft picks for Maggie Thatcher. Groans all around. They thought I was kidding.
What a towering figure she was. Winston Churchill saved England from the Nazis. Margaret Thatcher saved England from the English. At least for a while. But nothing withstands the leftist pressure for long in the Western World, and in the land of Magna Charta specifically. A majority of Brits have long yearned to trade freedom and prosperity for unattainable security. Not even a force of nature like the sainted Margaret Thatcher could hold this death wish at bay for long.
RIP Margaret Thatcher. We almost certainly won’t see your like again. But boy could not-so-merry-old-England use you now.