This is perhaps the most unenlightening sentence I’ve read all week: David Hawkings over at Roll Call asks, “Could Margaret Thatcher Win a GOP Primary?“
Among the heterodoxies that would presumably make Republican primary voters froth at the mouth with rage:
Most jarring — to a GOP that has spent so much energy in the past three years trying to stop, repeal or replace Obamacare — Thatcher never wavered in her support for Britain’s government-run health care system, which really does live up to the Republican “socialized medicine” epithet. While Thatcher privatized many other government-run industries, from airlines to steel mills, the National Health Service she left alone, hailing it in her memoir as “a service of which we could genuinely be proud” for both its cost-effectiveness and quality of care.
Look, it’s best to judge people by the times in which they lived. One of the favorite lines on the left is that the GOP has become so “extreme” that it would reject even its modern patriarch, Ronald Reagan, were he running for office today. Reagan raised taxes, signed amnesty for illegal immigrants, ran up the deficit, and so on.
But it’s silly to act as if we could scoop someone up out of history, plunk him back down in 2013, and expect nothing to change. A man derives his politics by filtering current events through his principles. Give Reagan different inputs — 9/11 instead of the Cold War, a welfare state that has grown enormously since his own time — and who’s to say how he would react?
Sure, such a discussion might be interesting, but let’s not pretend that it’s any more edifying than asking:
“Would Abraham Lincoln be better as a point guard or a power forward?”
“Would Samuel Adams even like that undrinkable Boston lager?”
“Could Teddy Roosevelt kill a bigfoot with his bare hands?”
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