September 26, 2013


An American Prime Minister : a review of Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography: From Grantham to the Falklands By Charles Moore (MATTHEW WALTHER, SEPTEMBER 2013, American Spectator) 

For American observers, to whom the Tory mind has been an object of bemusement, antipathy, or both for two centuries now, it is difficult to understand Moore's objections--to say nothing of those voiced by such disaffected stand-pats as Auberon Waugh, Michael Wharton (who actually sided with Scargill during the miners' strike), and A.N. Wilson. Our nostrils do not flare at the whiff of Whiggery or the effluvium of Philistia; we are reassurred rather than repulsed by the idea that Mrs. Thatcher's was, to repurpose Yeats' phrase, a "levelling, rancorous, rational sort of mind" neither animated by Tory prejudice nor graced by Tory flexibility. Reagan's children, would-be builders of Shining Cities on Hills, equate conservative governance with dynamism rather than quiescence, action rather than obstruction, and reform rather than reaction or, much less, restoration. What, we wonder, could possibly have been wrong with a woman who went about thumping desks with Hayek paperbacks? [..]

I would like to suggest, only half-facetiously, that, if thrift, tough-mindedness, and, above all, honest, manful effort are still those things that characterize the silent majority of Americans, then Margaret Thatcher, who, whatever her shortcomings, apotheosized all of these, may have been Britain's first American prime minster--hence our astonishment at how dim a view "proper Tories" took of her at the time. 

Posted by at September 26, 2013 8:22 PM

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