Let Us Come Not to Praise Thatcher But to Bury Her
(Image courtesy of constant reader CC)
God only knows why we're having this debate or any of these debates. Before Margaret Thatcher had the chance to shit her bed, wingnuts were already foaming at the mouth wondering why Google wasn't honoring her as they had Hugo Chavez (April Fool's, morons, it was labor leader Cesar Chavez, which still makes him just as evil in your addled minds). Another wingnut I refuse to even link to tried to make the AP sound as if it was Pravda 2.0 by extolling Hugo Chavez in their obituary of him while supposedly giving short shrift to Thatcher.
Thatcher, like Reagan, was by philosophy or circumstance an acolyte of the ruinous Ayn Rand, a hypocritical cryptofascist who saw a central government invested in the welfare of the people from whom they derive their power as the world's greatest evil. Yet she saw no problem whatsoever in accepting Social Security and Medicare in her golden years while continuing to rail against a so-called nanny state that nonetheless refused to let her starve and allowed, instead, to let her spend her final years with some measure of dignity.
Thatcher, rightfully, is posthumously inviting a lot of jokes about privatization because that was what her entire political career was devoted to. Under the guise of conservatism, Thatcher had no problem in immediately selling off national industries to the free market just as Reagan, a former union man, had no problem in smashing unions like PATCO.
And so, while Thatcher is being eulogized on Twitter and elsewhere by airheads like Sarah Palin who plainly didn't even know who Thatcher was until five years ago, other airheads in our very country are archly defending her against liberal jokes despite the fact that Thatcher was never their leader.
But the fact remains that Great Britain remains in the red despite the so-called Thatcher recovery that saw huge chunks of British national industries sold off to avaricious multinational corporations and the UK still has one of the highest tax rates in the civilized world. The Olympics, in England last summer, saw not only multimillionaire tycoons competing in lieu of amateur athletes but the several dozen or more Olympic sponsors sent out several thousands of copyright cops to ensure that nonofficial sponsors weren't using copyrighted words such as "2012", "London", "Olympics" and so forth. These fascist copyright cops had the full force of law behind them, a law that was enacted by the British parliament way back in 2006.
This was Margaret Thatcher's dream for Great Britain.
Well, conservative principles are almost as dead as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and, as with all dead things, they need to be buried lest they stink up the joint.
Let's take stock: At this time nine years ago, there were zero states that had gay marriage. Then on May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first to legalize gay marriage with the Goodridge vs the Department of Public Health ruling. By the time of the Stewart/Colbert rally in Washington, DC two and a half years ago, five states had gay marriage. And, as of this writing, nine states have gay marriage, plus Washington, DC. The New Jersey legislature ratified gay marriage and Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill. California had gay marriage for all of five months before the execrable Prop H8 was illegally put on the ballot. So we ought to have legal gay marriage in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
Now, for the first time in American history, a person could suffer serious fallout including termination from their job, public pillory and, in cases of assault and battery, charged with a hate crime which doubles the penalty. Misogynism can get a person thrown out of Congress, as Todd Akin found out this past November, and even a conservative kingmaker like Rush Limbaugh, after three days of hateful comments against Sandra Fluke, saw the loss of over 2300 sponsors thanks largely to several online petitions and PR campaigns from grassroots groups.
Were it not for illegal gerrymandering such as we saw in Texas, it's obvious the GOP wouldn't have had a prayer of hanging on to their once-solid majority in the US House (in the 2012 general election, Democratic Congressional candidates got about 400,000 more votes than Republicans). The Republican Party had gotten reamed by the American voter for the third time in the last four elections, plainly a repudiation of their "principles" and policies.
Poll after poll shows 90% of Americans want more stringent background checks for those seeking to purchase firearms and limits on the size of magazines. After four solid years of pretending no gun control debate was raging in this country, Barack Obama finally climbed on the bandwagon and began calling for stricter gun control laws, even going to Newtown as recently as yesterday.
Occupy Wall Street, which is what the Tea Party should've been but wasn't, shed a spotlight on corporate greed and income inequality that, until then, had been virtually ignored by our elected officials and the mainstream media. An overwhelming majority of Americans think the 1% ought to pay more in taxes. And Wal-Mart workers early last winter went on strike for the first time ever. Fast food workers in New York City also went on strike earlier this spring.
It's hard to understand why it took the American people this long to realize why the neoconservative agenda is so wrong and should no longer be tolerated for the neofascism it is but better late than never. It's equally hard to understand why, since Obama has a surging tsunami of progressivism at his back, Republicans are still getting what they want when they want it, such as a reduction in Social Security and Medicare benefits that do not contribute one red cent to the deficit or debt.
But one thing is clear: Rapists, gay bashers, misogynists, bigots and their apologists are now persona non grata in the United States. Conservatism lives only in the imagination of the dying faction of rich, old white men still dreaming of the good old days when Reagan and Thatcher were running roughshod over an inexplicably compliant world.
Let us come to bury Thatcher but not to praise her and let's extend the same discourtesy to conservatism in general.