November 22, 2014
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Letters
A socialist lady

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.

Barry Nordin

Warwick


Comments
2 comments on this item

Mr. Nordin, while you are entitled to your own opinion you are not entitled to your own facts. Britain was in the throes of a steady economic decline when she came to power and she turned things around dramatically by, in part, privatizing sclerotic publicly held companies (witness Britains once-thriving auto industry that was essentilally gone when she came to power) and set in motion significant economic growth and income growth for all workers. Just because she did not 'privatize' Britain's National Healthcare system, which has always enjoyed significant popular support in Britain, does not de facto means that she was not a conservative, though I believe she proposed some reform of the program. JUst because she supported the public pension system doesn't mean that she wasn't conservative. Just because she didn't cut taxes to American levels or below doesn't meant that she was not conservative. As far as the collapse of the SOviet Union is concerned, you are completely off base. It's typical for liberals to try to re-write history, especially when it comes to SOviet Union and that would be because they were wrong from day one about the nature of the Soviet system so it's convenient to now say that "well it was on its way to collapse". That's complete bunk. Reagan, Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, and Pope John Paul II were instrumental in bringing down the Soviet Union. Any objective view of Thatcher's governance would conclude that she was a conservative and governed as such.

She didn't love apartheid. She called Nelson Mandela a terrorist and is certainly on the wrong side of history on this subject. She hated apartheid, but was concerned with the spread of communism. I'm a fiscal conservative and I support a single payer health care system. Obamacare is going to be a nightmare. I and many centrist believe that single payer is the only way to stop the out of control cost increases. I don't think universal healthcare is a "right", but rather an ideal that wealthy nations should strive for. We spend the most money in the world per capita on medical costs and our results aren't better than other wealthy nations.

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