Compare and Contrast

12 Apr

Many were saddened this past week by the passing of the great leader and stateswoman, Margaret Thatcher. Dubbed the “Iron Lady,” she was steadfast in her convictions, and brought her country back from the brink of economic collapse and led them through the Cold War. Whether or not you agree with her methods, it is inarguable that she did what it took to get the job done.

President Obama released a statement about her passing, praising her “moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will.” He then casually added that he and Michelle were going to “carry on the work to which she dedicated her life,”[1] to which the only rational response is “Are you kidding me?”

A cursory examination of the principles to which Margaret Thatcher dedicated her life will show that they are the opposite of Barack Obama’s. Thatcher believed in self-reliance, individual liberty, the free market, and in being plain-spoken. Obama subscribes to a philosophy of reliance on the government, social justice, more regulation, and equivocation.

Obama believes that society and government’s purpose is to solve our personal problems, saying “The commitments we make to each other – through [social programs]– these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.”[2] Thatcher believed the opposite. She said “the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves, and each of us prepared to turn round and help, by our own efforts, those who are unfortunate.” [3]

This is only one example of how their political philosophies are generally polar opposites. Thatcher was dedicated to individualism, and Obama is devoted to collectivism. So what exactly did Obama mean when he said he was going to carry on her work? It means that he’s going to try to follow the Iron Lady’s tradition of getting her own way, no matter what the opposition wants.


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One response to “Compare and Contrast

  1. Liz

    May 2, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I admired the “iron lady” all my life, she was intriguing woman with a strong will and determination.


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