To the Editor:
Al Gemma should have checked into her background a little more thoroughly before lauding Margaret Thatcher as a “conservative” who broke the back of socialism in Britain. During her tenure as Prime Minister, Thatcher stood firmly for a number of programs that American conservatives are against.
She was a staunch proponent of government providing pensions for senior citizens (U.S. Social Security), which the GOP wants to eviscerate. She steadfastly stood for the public health system (U.S. Medicare and Obamacare), which the right wants to privatize. She cut taxes on the rich but left them still several percentage points above our own highest level. And despite the Republican claim that she helped bring down the Soviet Union (along with their idol, Ronald Reagan), the collapse of that system had been in the works for many years, thanks to its unwieldy economy, a fall predicted by economists long before. Her socialist leanings placed her well to the left of many American liberals and far to the left of the right’s so-called “socialist” president.
There was a lot about her for the right to love – union-busting, privatizing government services, loving apartheid – but Conservative? No, not her. Better temper that adulation, Al.