Margaret Thatcher died today. She, along with Ronald Reagan, led the free world through the menace of the Cold War. Despite her controversial actions, prompting the nickname: "The Iron Lady", Thatcher was a figure demanding admiration. She was tough, smart, and immensely courageous. Admittedly, like most leaders of that type, she had that Churchillian lack of humility, but let's be honest, if anybody would back up actions with words, it was Thatcher.
Though they haven't adopted her legacy in the past, the feminist movement could find no greater example of a remarkable woman than in Thatcher. She stepped into a guy's world and seriously kicked butt.
Peter Hitchens (Christopher's brother), wrote a wonderful piece on her, along with a meditation on greatness and the elevation of political figures to such heights:
I am always moved by the distance some people travel, especially in politics, though in other paths as well. Even when they are signing enormous treaties, speaking to multitudes from high platforms, celebrating smashing election victories and directing wars, there is somewhere in their mind a small and shabby bedroom, a cat curled up by the fire, a third-hand bicycle, a clock ticking, a walk through shabby streets to an unassuming school, a corner of a sooty garden in which they have managed to grow a few beans or potatoes, a frugal seaside holiday involving quite a lot of rain. There are also the little chores that tie us to normality, washing up, sweeping the stairs, taking out the rubbish.
How do these great ones cope with this contrast with what they really are, and what we have elevated them into being? They may have wanted to be great, and striven for it all their lives. But when they finally caught the enormous Atlantic roller of celebrity, and it lifted them unmistakably far above everyone else, were they dismayed to see their own past lives , and everyone in them, suddenly become so small and far away, and irrecoverable?
Read the rest here.