In Memoriam of a Great Leader . . . and a Once Great Nation


by Greg Heartsill, Iowa State Legislator

Last week, we witnessed the passing of one the 20th Century’s greatest world leaders, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Tomorrow, she will be honoured with a very public funeral. I am a huge fan of the legacy and leadership of Prime Minister Thatcher (much like I am of her American counterpart, Ronald Reagan).

Margaret Thatcher was known as the “Iron Lady.”  I suppose that moniker is apropos as she possessed one particular quality that is absent in most political leaders: nerves of steel.  Yet at the same time, her manner and conduct was that of a proper British lady.  It would behoove us to take note of this impeccable combination of qualities in a statesman.  They rarely come around in our lifetime.

Having just experienced the Iowa Legislative Memorial Service in my home state where I serve as a public servant, I was completely shocked and dismayed to learn of the disrespectful reaction by the British people upon the death of one of their own great leaders.  As I watched the news accounts of these “death party” demonstrations on television, I observed that many of the people “celebrating” didn’t appear to be old enough to have either lived under or personally remember the rule of Margaret Thatcher.   Where did all this hate and vitriol come from?  They must have learned it from somewhere.  Perhaps the British education system is responsible for poisoning these young minds?  Whoever the culprit may be, I think it is a shame and disgrace on the people of Britain.

Take a long, hard look across the pond, America.  This is the manifestation of generation being indoctrinated by the professors and purveyors of the doctrines of “open-mindedness” and “tolerance.” Britain has reaped what it has sown.  And unfortunately, our way of life is usually not too many steps behind our European ally.  For example, just recently, we’ve accepted one of the mainstays of British culture: socialized medicine.  Don’t be too surprised when, down the road, some of our fellow countrymen are dancing in the street and singing “Ding Dong! The witch is dead!” after one of our illustrious leaders pass on.

If I haven’t said it clearly enough already: shame on Britain!  Shame on any people who would disgrace themselves like this by dishonoring someone like Margaret Thatcher at her passing. What will they do next?  Tear down all the images of Winston Churchill and replace them with Neville Chamberlin?  Of course, that presupposes they know who those men are and their role in their country’s history. Are we very far behind? When our culture knows more about Kim Kardashian than George Washington, I think the answer to that question is sadly apparent.

And isn’t it ironic how those who preach “tolerance” are among those most intolerant in our society?  Isn’t it odd that those who talk about being open-minded and respectful toward others are typically the ones with closed minds leading disrespectful demonstrations?  You’re seeing it happen now in Britain.  It’s on full display for all the world to see.

I cannot bring myself to refer to Britain by its proper name.  Any people that tolerates such flagrant and grotesque dishonor of one of their distinguished leaders doesn’t deserve to be called “great” anymore.

Here’s to you Margaret Thatcher.  You will always be remembered in the hearts of those who cherish freedom and liberty regardless of nationality.  It is a crying shame that your family and your legacy should have to suffer such an insult from an ignorant and unrestrained throng.

Greg Heartsill (R) is an Iowa state legislator serving his first term in Iowa’s House of Representatives.