RUSH: Margaret Thatcher has passed away, and that will be the first thing we get into when we come back from the break. We’ve got some audio sound bites from Lady Thatcher. Lady Thatcher, I was very fortunate to know. Because of some friends of mine who knew her, I was often invited to social occasions with her. I must have spent quality time with Lady Thatcher on 10 to 15 different occasions, all in the 1990s. I’ve regaled you with some of the stories.
In every one of those instances — every one — she was identically the same. She was purely formal and sophisticated. I don’t mean boring and dull and old-fashioned. She carried herself with a dignity and a self-respect and a seriousness that led no one to question who she really was. If you ever had the chance to be around her, you would know that she was in person as you saw her on television. She was committed, she was serious. She was formal. She was a great woman, a great human being.
Some people call it a coincidence — I think it’s more than that — that at the same time in the world we had Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher. During those years were the only time in my lifetime where the left was actually turned back. Not just stopped, but defeated and turned back. It was the only time in my life. Poland, Berlin, Moscow, the United States. Wherever. Those three leaders on the political stage, the world stage at the same time, did more for freedom and liberty for people all over this world than any three people since the founding of this country — and they all served at the same time, overlapping.
Lady Thatcher is the only one of the three that I met, and I got to know her very well.
RUSH: Here’s a little trivia question. Does anybody out there know who it was that decided to call Margaret Thatcher “the Iron Lady”? Any idea who it was? It was not Neil Kinnock, and therefore not Joe Biden. It was not a British politician. It was not an American politician. It was no one in the media, at least in the Western media. It was the Soviet news agency Tass that called her, that dubbed Margaret Thatcher the Iron Lady, and the West’s Drive-By Media gleefully picked up on that.
Tass did not mean it to be a compliment, neither did the American Drive-By Media, but of course it turned out to be one. Margaret Thatcher reminded me of my grandfather. My grandfather was serious all the time. He wore a jacket and tie every day of the year — Saturday, Sunday, no matter what — because he worked every day. Lady Thatcher was serious. She was funny, but she was serious. Everything mattered. One of the many things she said that I’ve never forgotten — and there were a lot of them, but this one has always stuck with me — was “Consensus is the absence of leadership.”
Consensus is now the objective in this country.
To her, it meant no leadership.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, don’t misunderstand when I say that Lady Thatcher was serious. I don’t mean that she was boring and constantly talking about weighty things that only a few people were interested in. Quite the opposite. She was filled with self-respect and dignity. And she knew who she was. She’s the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, this during the time I knew her. She was proud of that, but that meant something, that had requirements that she was never, ever going to lapse. She was always going to fulfill. She had a great sense of humor, and it was a very dry wit.
The friends of mine who made it possible for me to know her are great people here in Palm Beach, Gay and Stanley Gaines, and they’d known her for many, many years, and Lady Thatcher was entirely willing to attend dinner parties with their friends. Many people would beg off something like that. “Please, I don’t want to hang around a bunch of people I don’t know. Please, Gay, I came to see you.” No, there would be dinner parties with 10 people, 25, 30 people. And whatever was asked of her, she attempted to comply, every question. Everybody that wanted to ask her about something was given her full attention. I remember one particular evening, it was the end of the week, it had been a long week for me, and I showed up, cocktail party, dinner. I sit down at dinner and Gay immediately says, “Okay, Rush, what’s the latest in…”
I said, “Gay, I’m tired. I just don’t want to talk about politics right now.” Of course the table looked, “You don’t want to talk politics? Do you understand who’s sitting here?” She was seated next to me. And I said, “No.” At the time I just didn’t want to be on stage. I was exhausted, I was worn out, and I just wanted to listen. And Gay kept trying to urge me, and Lady Thatcher said, “Gay, he doesn’t wish to speak about politics. So let’s talk of the rule of law,” and, bam, there we are off on a discussion, the rule of law. She loved the founders. She absolutely thought they were the most brilliant people, ’cause they were Brits, don’t forget. Our founders were British. She loved them.
She loved Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson was it. But she loved them all. She knew the history of this country better than most people in this country do, and she revered it. She was one of the greatest Americans, quote, unquote, that I’ve ever met.
Let’s go to the some audio sound bites. First up, we have her appearing with William Buckley on Firing Line, 1977. At the time she’s a member of parliament, Conservative Party leader. She’s not the Prime Minister yet. Buckley said, “What is there to be learned from the failure of British socialism?” This is important. At the time, British socialism was in the process of crumbling, 1977. Of course today it’s back with a vengeance, with its tentacles more deeply hooked than ever. But in 1977 it was collapsing. It was on the way. She finished the job.
“What is there to be learned from the failure of British socialism; and what, in fact, has been learned from the failure of British socialism? In a recent speech, Mrs. Thatcher said, ‘We observe what happens elsewhere and draw lessons from it, but we are aware that different national traditions, experience, and religious values affect the total political and economic situation.’ Question: Does the failure of British socialism have the same meaning for the United States as, say, for Venezuela?”
THATCHER: There are two ways in which any government can proceed. One is a way based on what you and I would call a free society, which is enshrined right at the heart of the American Constitution. The other one is a way which allows only one view both of economics and politics and which almost everything is either owned or controlled by the state, including the media, including the ideas, including freedom of discussion and everything. There is no freedom of discussion. Now, between those two ways, the free society and the totally controlled society, there are, of course, variations. I think what we’ve learned in Britain is that we’ve gradually, over the last certainly 12 or 13 years, with perhaps a little interruption, gone slowly further and further away from the free society towards something else.
RUSH: So she was in a way disagreeing with Buckley, who was asking about the failure of — well, not really disagreeing. He was talking about the failure, but not the demise that had yet to happen, and it didn’t begin to happen until she became Prime Minister. So after pointing out that Britain had moved further away from a free society in 1977, she continued with this.
THATCHER: At the same time we’ve found — I don’t find it strange, but some other people do — that we have stopped creating wealth. We’ve had a large number of increasing restrictions. And you’ve been finding two things: First, that we are more and more concentrating on redistributing the wealth we’ve got, rather than creating any more. To create more, you need a slightly freer society, and you need an incentive society. Naturally when I see that happening, I look with very great alarm to societies which have gone even further left. That is, they’ve tried to redistribute even more and haven’t had the incentives for people working hard on their own account, doing well for their families and often then being able to create jobs for others, they’ve produced a much more prosperous society than we have. But by and large you’ve got the two broad, different economic and political approaches.
RUSH: Here we are, 1977, and again, the value here, not just an illustration of who Lady Thatcher was, for those who don’t know, but rather in 1977 it was known what is known today. And it was being executed then, as it’s being executed now. And in 1977 it failed, i.e., the redistribution of wealth, the stoppage and the creation of wealth, which happens at the same time. The moment a society becomes redistributive, it stops creating wealth. She was cataloging current circumstances in Britain in 1977. And this was, of course, to set up her eventual triumph as prime minister.
But, you see, it serves to illustrate that the left is always what it is. There’s nothing new about it. Its failure is commonplace. It has never worked. It has never succeeded. The left, after destroying one free society after another, has to keep finding another to run their experiments on because each time they try, they destroy. They destroy the creation of wealth. They disincentivize the creation of wealth with the redistribution of wealth by creating more and more recipients for having done nothing. And so they create a vicious cycle, spinning in onto itself, which is self-destructive, and it’s happening here now. It’s happening throughout the world. The thing that is most difficult for me to understand is it’s never succeeded. And yet people turn to it still with as much hope as they ever have.
So what’s the allure? It’s never worked. It never will work. But in the short term, it does work for those who don’t wish to work. That’s the problem. It does work temporarily for those who are the beneficiaries of all this. In America today, 90 million people aren’t working, 90 million. Last month, folks, talked about this on Friday, 633,000 people stopped looking for work. The labor force participation rate grew by over half a million people, in one month. Those are jobs that have vanished. Every one of those people is eating, and pretty much what they want to eat. Every one of them has a cell phone, and every one of them has no trouble getting around. They all live somewhere. And so to them, you say, “Well, it’s not working.”
“Well, it is for me; I don’t have a job, and I’m doing well. It’s working fine for me.”
And this is how they sell it, catalog it, success. They’re never around when the total implosion takes place. And while a society is crumbling and imploding, an implosion and crumbling that they are causing, the people on the left, they succeed in blaming their opponents for it, which is where we are now. Republicans are responsible for everything rotten happening in the country. It’s all part of the left’s tactics. The thing is, my friends, the people on the left know it’s going to fail always, too. They are not — I mean, you’ve got maybe some young leftists coming out of college with rosy scenarios of their future, rose-colored glasses, and they think they’re onto something here, utopia.
But the left, the adults know it isn’t gonna work, never has worked, that’s not its purpose. Its purpose is to enshrine them as elites. Its purpose is to gain them power. But in terms of a workable way of governing a country, it fails, has failed, every time it’s tried. Brief time-out. More Margaret Thatcher sound bites when we come back.
RUSH: November 22nd, 1990, House of Commons in London, Margaret Thatcher delivering her final speech as prime minister. During the speech, she yielded time to a member of Parliament, Mr. Simon Hughes, who said, “There is no doubt the Prime Minister has in many ways achieved substantial success. But there is one statistic that I understand has not, however, challenged you, and that is that over her 11 years, the gap between the richest 10% and the poorest 10% in this country has widened substantially.
“How can she say at the end of her chapter of British policies that she can justify many people in the constituency such as mine being relatively poorer, much less well housed, much less well provided than it was in 1979? Surely the gentlelady accepts that it is not a record that she or any prime minister can be proud of,” and of course there were the hoots and hollers, and this is what she said, again, delivering her final speech as PM…
THATCHER: He would rather have the poor poorer, provided the rich were less rich. That was the liberal policy! Yes, it came out! He didn’t intend it to, but he did. I give way to the honorable gentleman.
MAN: The prime minister is aware but I detest every single one of her domestic policies and I have never hidden that fact..
THATCHER: And I think that the honorable gentleman knows that I have the same contempt for his socialist policies as the people of East Europe who have experienced them. I think I must have hit the right nail on the head when I pointed out that the logic of those policies are they’d rather have the poor poorer. Once they start to talk about “the gap,” they’d rather the gap was that, down there. That. Not there. But that. So long as the gap is smaller — so long as the gap is smaller — they’d rather have the poor poorer. You do not create wealth and opportunity that way. You do not create a property-owning democracy that way.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, that’s called push-back. That’s called standing up for what you believe. That’s called standing up for your principles. It’s called not being shouted down, not being a coward, not being afraid, not worrying about what is said about you. Which, by the way, she also detested: People who were consumed with what other people thought about them. She said, “They will never amount to anything, and we will never know who they truly are,” but she called these people out.
The same argument here.
“Under your policies the rich are getting rich and the poor are getting poorer.” No, under your policies, the poor are getting poorer and everybody’s getting poorer and that’s all you care about. If the poor get poorer, that’s fine with you as long as the rich do! That’s what she was shouting back at this liberal. One woman against all these liberals in the House of Commons. There is no such leader in America today. There is no such push-back. There is no one defending the founding, conservatism, whatever. The concept of private property, wealth creation. Not publicly, not defiantly, not pushing back. It doesn’t happen.
Here is her tribute to Ronald Reagan, Simi Valley, California.
THATCHER: You strode into our midst at a time when America needed you most. This great country had been through a period of national malaise bereft of any sense of moral direction. Through it all, throughout eight of the fastest-moving years in memory, you were unflappable and unyielding. You were not only America’s president, important as that is, you were a great leader. In a time of average men, you have stood taller than anyone else.
RUSH: Margaret Thatcher, Simi Valley, California, February 3, 1994. This was at a birthday gala for Reagan. Here she wraps it up, praising Reagan’s toughness…
THATCHER: With a toughness unseen for the long time, you stood face-to-face with the Evil Empire, and with an unexpected , which confused your foes — and even some of your friends —
AUDIENCE: (rippling laughter)
THATCHER: — you reached out to that empire, perhaps no longer evil, but still formidable. You met its leaders on their turf, but on your terms.
RUSH: That’s Reagan’s 83rd birthday gala in Simi Valley, California, February 3, 1994.
RUSH: Lady Thatcher really was transformative in the true sense of the word. She transformed the UK, during her time, from socialist left to a free market, wealth-creating free society — and she is hated and reviled today in her own country, by the media, much as conservatives in this country are, but there’s the no denying what she accomplished, what she achieved, and how she did it.