How the Left Still Hates Maggie Thatcher

Thursday, April 11, AD 2013

His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.  He recalls with appreciation the Christian values which underpinned her commitment to public service and to the promotion of freedom among the family of nations.  Entrusting her soul to the mercy of God, and assuring her family and the British people of a remembrance in his prayers, the Holy Father invokes upon all whose lives she touched God’s abundant blessings.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State

The gracelessness and blind hatred that governs much of the Left was put on full display with the death of Margaret Thatcher, the greatest prime minister Britain has had since World War 2, with organized street demonstrations “celebrating” her passing.

Thatcher, who personified the phrase “true grit”, I think would have welcomed their hate as the finest tribute to her work.  She opposed the Left and its goal of an ever expanding state with all the wit, courage and eloquence she could muster, and she had a considerable store of all three qualities.  This accolade from Milton Friedman in 1979 explains just what an extraordinary politician Thatcher was:

We have become so accustomed to politicians making extravagant campaign promises and then  forgetting about them once elected that the first major act of Margaret Thatcher’s government— the budget unveiled on June 12—was a surprise. It did precisely what she had promised to do.

Margaret Thatcher campaigned on a platform of reversing the trend toward an ever more  intrusive government—a trend that had carried government spending in Great Britain to  somewhere between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the nation’s income. Ever since the end of  World War II, both Labor and Tory governments have added to government-provided social  services as well as to government-owned and -operated industry. Foreign-exchange transactions  have been rigidly controlled. Taxes have been punitive, yet have not yielded enough to meet  costs. Excessive money created to finance deficits sparked an inflation that hit a rate of over 30  per cent a year in mid-1975. Only recently was inflation brought down to the neighborhood of 10  per cent, and it is once again on the rise.

Most important of all, the persistent move to a centralized and collectivist economy produced  economic stagnation. Before World War II, the British citizen enjoyed a real income that  averaged close to twice that of the Frenchman or German. Today, the ratio is nearly reversed.  The Frenchman or German enjoys a real income close to twice that of the ordinary Briton.

Margaret Thatcher declared in no uncertain terms that the long British experiment was a failure.  She urged greater reliance on private enterprise and on market incentives. She promised to  reduce the fraction of the people’s income that government spends on their behalf, and to cut  sharply government control over the lives of British citizens. Her government’s budget is a major first step. It reduces the top marginal tax rate on so-called  “earned” income from 83 per cent to 60 per cent, on “unearned” income from a confiscatory 98  per cent to 75 per cent. At the same time, it raises the level of income exempt from income tax  and cuts the bottom rate from 33 per cent to 30 per cent. It proposes to cut government spending  significantly, to sell some of the government’s industrial holdings and to promote the sale of  government-owned housing units to their occupants. It loosens foreign-exchange controls  substantially as a first step toward their elimination.

One retrograde step, in my opinion, is an increase in indirect taxes—the British general sales  taxes, or VAT. This increase, which partly offsets the decrease in direct taxes, combined with  lower spending will reduce government borrowing, facilitating a restrained monetary policy and  releasing funds for private investment. The purpose is admirable. However, once taxes are  imposed, it is hard to cut them. From the long-run point of view, it seems to me preferable to  resort to a temporarily higher level of borrowing rather than to a possibly permanently higher level of indirect taxes.

I would also have preferred to see exchange controls eliminated completely rather than by  degrees. The controls serve no constructive purpose. Eliminating them gradually only prolongs  the harm and preserves a mischievous bureaucracy.

But these are quibbles. I salute Margaret Thatcher and her government for their courage and  wisdom in moving firmly and promptly to cut Britain’s bureaucratic straitjacket. Britain has  enormous latent strength—in human capacities, industrial traditions, financial institutions, social  stability. If these can be released from bondage, if incentive can be restored, Britain could once  again become a vibrant, dynamic, increasingly productive economy.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Continue reading...

50 Responses to How the Left Still Hates Maggie Thatcher

  • There’s only one thing that explain the left’s irrational hatred for Margaret Thatcher, given that the left seems to have made peace (at least outwardly) with the legacies of her contemporary co-partners, John Paul II and Ronald Reagan.

    Thatcher is the subject of the left’s undying hatred because she was a woman who didn’t believe and behave like the left’s version of a woman should believe and behave. See, e.g., Sarah Palin. See also Justice Thomas for this phenomenon in the area of race.

  • Jay A. answered my question: “Why?”

    Do they want to drag her body through the streets?

    Replace pride with humility
    Replace greed with generosity
    Replace envy with love
    Replace anger with kindness
    Replace lust with self-control
    Replace gluttony with temperance
    Replace sloth with zeal for the Glory of God

  • Jay Anderson from what I understand Thatcher’s economic reforms were a much more dramatic shift than Reagan’s, in terms of the impact on mining/industrial areas. of course reforms are necessary sometimes but if certain people are dislocated/not trained for anything else you can’t expect ’em to love their situation

  • I don’t recall where I read this, but someone commented recently about Thatcher that her opponents can accept losing an election or two, but they can’t accept losing the debate. Thatcher’s opponents lost the debate, thoroughly. With Reagan, they could always say he was the Great Communicator, a former actor who knew how to sell his charm. Thatcher was more Buckley than Reagan; by the time she was through with you, you were beaten.

  • When Johnny Lydon (the former Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) says you’re out of line–you’re out of line.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2307183/Margaret-Thatcher-dead-Sex-Pistol-Johnny-Rotten-says-hate-mobs-loathsome–calls-respect.html

  • Yes, Margaret Thatcher was a lovely lady. She spoke the truth and stood her ground with style. She will be missed!

  • The Political Left brokers no debate and tolerates nobody who opposes them. They hate Thatcher because Thatcher was right.

  • I can’t believe that I can read Catholics praising Margaret Thatcher. The woman did not posses an ounce of Christian love. She destroyed working communities across Britain. I grew up in a catholic community in Northern England that was decimated by her policies. She created such hardship and took such pleasure from doing so. She promoted the values of greed and declared that there was no such thing as society. To pretend that the outpouring of hatred towards her is the work of the far left is not accurate. Many normal working people all over the UK are still living with the consequences of her disastrous and politically motivated attacks on poor communities.

    I will not rejoice at anyone’s death but I understand perfectly where the bitterness comes from.

  • I can easily believe that a Catholic can spout the type of bilge you are spouting Chris, since it is all too common on left wing Catholic sites. Not a word you said is true about Thatcher and her policies. Socialism has wreaked havoc in Britain and it is appalling how many of the victims of the welfare state fail to see it.

  • Pope Francis has reason to be grateful to Margaret Thatcher, since British victory in the Falklands led directly to the fall of the military junta in Argentina and the restoration of democracy, which has survived for thirty years now.

    In Budapest in 1994 I shared a drink with some Poles who, when they discovered I was a Brit, raised their glasses to “Margaret Thatcher!” Other than that, they spoke no English. The Stalinist leader of the all-powerful National Union of Mineworkers, Arthur Scargill, had attacked Lech Walesa and Solidarity for being anti-Communist. When Maggie visited Poland she was treated as a heroine.

    In 1979 the union barons were perceived by most people to be the real rulers of Britain. The most prominent of these, Jack Jones was later revealed to have been a Soviet agent. Ten years later this was emphatically not the case.

    When Mrs T said “there is no such thing as society” she was in fact attacking the corporate state and extolling individual liberty. I voted for her in three elections, along with many other Catholics.

  • Pingback: Can Humans See Bodiless Angels? - BIG PULPIT
  • what a woman,,what a woman…God rest her soul…now we just need another Maggie Thatcher and we be all set…

  • You speak with great authority for someone who didn’t actually live through it. Socialism did great evil as well, I am not a socialist. The left in Britain was insane during the 1980’s I’m not defending the failed socialism of the far left in Britain. Just because socialism was not working does not mean that what she did was successful.

    She attacked the values of community and trust. She destroyed Britain’s industrial base and replaced it with the failed service economy we see today. The south grew at the norths expense. She introduced medieval tax laws that resulted in mass riots.

    There is a reason why there is such wide spread celebration at her death and it is not because there are so many socialists in the UK. The welfare culture was in part created by Thatcherism. Her monetarist policies traded low inflation for high unemployment. She closed down industries in areas that had been industrial for centuries and offered no alternative plan for entire regions. It did not matter as those regions did not vote for her.

    She will be remembered as strong on foreign policy and she played a part in the fall of communism. As for the Falklands it was her defence cuts that lost them in the first place. She branded Nelson Mandela a terrorist and cooperated with a racist government in south Africa and lets not forget her involvement with the Khmer rouge. Her role in extending and inflaming the troubles in northern Ireland is also well documented.

    This one sided hagiography of her greatness is completely at odds with reality.

  • Margaret Thatcher’s great achievement was that she demonstrated the fallacy of the “ratchet effect.”

    Fabian Socialists (and most of the British Left were Fabians, rather than revolutionaries) believed that slow, incremental changes in the direction of social democracy were irreversible. Conservative administrations might retard their progress, but could not undo past gains.

    Her policies of privatisation and deregulation proved them wrong.

    And, yes, Chris, she closed down industries, because she recognised what she called “the enemy within,” and destroyed their power base, notably the National Union of Mine Workers. That is why she won three elections.

  • Chris, there is no ‘failed service economy’, nor did any Thatcher ministry ‘destroy Britain’s industrial base’. Britain today is more affluent than it was in 1978 both absolutely and relative to the United States. Any advanced economy has a mix of agriculture, extractive industries, construction, manufacturing, purchased services, and government. The mix varies over time and place. Economic advancement in the occidental world has tended to be manifested in the development of production in non-tradeable services as it has grown economical to produce manufactures in Latin America and the Far East. Manufacturing in advanced countries has taken on the character of high value added specialty production which employs relatively few people. There is nothing pathological about this. It would be pathological (and was pathological) to put domestic industries on perpetual government life support (through financing the deficits of creaky state enterprises and protective tariffs on manufactures).

    There is regional variation in incomes in Britain, but you see that most any place. Per capita value added in the Midlands is about 15% below the national mean, in the North of England about 20% below the national mean, and in Wales and Ulster about 25% below the national mean. So, you have more regional variation than you do in the United States. However, none of these areas are, by any serious standard of measure, poor in comparison to the general run of countries in this world or to the Britain of 1978. They are the somewhat less affluent portions of an affluent country, and compare satisfactorily to Mediterranean Europe.

  • Chris – It’s tough to assess another country’s policy. Over here, taxes were too high; Reagan cut them and we were better-off for it. For that he was branded cruel. So when Americans read about Thatcher cruelly changing the tax code in a way that harmed society, we immediately fill in the blanks with our own story and assume that you’re on the far left.

    So let’s be specific: what did Thatcher do to the tax code? Did she really shut down industries? Our president wouldn’t be able to do that. She might have ceased to protect industries, and that can have a lot of direct, bad consequences, but also a lot of indirect good ones.

  • They hate her because her truth is “marching on.”

  • “and lets not forget her involvement with the Khmer rouge”

    This is false, the rebels against the Vietnamese-inserted government did not solely consist of Khmer Rouge, you had the republican and Sihanouk-loyal groups

    actually your whole para on her foreign policy looks like you’re just throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks

  • Uhm…Ireland?

  • Chris, were you around in the 1970s? In 1974 the incoming Labour government rewarded the miners with a basic pay (excluding overtime) of £5200 a year. In the same year my salary as a qualified teacher with a good Honours degree was raised to £2400. Remember the days lost through strikes and the deliberate attempts to destroy the motor industry by politically motivated agitators like ‘Red Robbo’? Remember the ralwaymen turning down a 28% pay rise and going on strike? Remember Britain as the ‘sick man of Europe’ and Chancellor Denis Healey going cap in hand to the IMF, which was designed to bail out third-world countries? Remember PM James Callaghan humiliated by Idi Amin? It wasn’t the far Left but the soft Left which let the country down, with its taking the line of least resistance and continuing to subsidise unprofitable industries whether through sentimental attachment or fear of the unions.

    If Margaret Thatcher’s reforms were so bad, why did Labour do nothing to reverse them despite being in power for thirteen years?

  • JDP British SAS soldiers have confirmed publicly that they trained allies of Khmer rouge in Cambodia and in neighbouring Thailand during Thatchers time in office. These allies where under the command of a coalition lead by the Khmer rouge and the British were aware of that as the Khmere rouge were not controlled by Moscow. I can back up every other statement made about her foreign policy.

    Pinky she literally shut down industries as they were state owned. It was not only those industries that were effected though, the other people in these regions, the business owners that catered for the workers also lost everything. It was the total disregard for the human lives she was destroying that has caused the lasting bitterness. In these regions all that was left was massive unemployment and no investment in anything else.

    Michael, the idea of ‘the enemy within’ sums up exactly why she is hated. She treated people in communities with differing political views to her as enemy forces who must be crushed. I don’t deny that there where some crazy union leaders. But to spitefully destroy entire communities because they were viewed as a political threat is the action of a tyrant. You are correct in regard to the ratchet effect she ratcheted the centre ground to the right and it has stayed there ever since.

    Art Deco, the entire EU is richer in relative terms than it was in 1979 this proves nothing about the success of her policies. Other countries have managed to maintain there industrial capacity such as Germany.

    For the record I am not suggesting that every economic reform she made was bad. It is the lack of care for the consequences and in some regard relishing the effect this would have in places and people she despised.

    Something that should not be overlooked in the economic recovery of the UK was the discovery and exploitation of ever larger fields of North Sea oil. This roughly corresponds with Thatchers time in office.

    The fact that several generations after she has left office northern areas are 20% poorer then the south (according to your figures) speaks volumes about the destruction she wrought. Other governments have continued some of her reforms but they have attempted to assist the creation of private industry in depressed areas.

    Thank you all for the reasoned and reasonable debate.

  • Art Deco, the entire EU is richer in relative terms than it was in 1979 this proves nothing about the success of her policies. Other countries have managed to maintain there industrial capacity such as Germany.

    It is called ‘comparative advantage’. Affluent countries vary in their commercial and industrial mix. Nothing troubling about that.

    In 1979, per capita income in Britain was:

    66% that of the United States
    68% that of France
    69% that of a weighted average of the Germanies
    85% that of Japan
    80% that of Australia

    As of 2010, Britain’s per capita income was

    77% that of the United States
    89% that of France
    90% that of Germany
    85% that of Japan
    65% that of Australia

    Which is to say they have improved their position against most of the rest of the world’s affluent countries.

    Current unemployment rates in Britain are around 7.8% of the workforce. The EU mean is 10.7%. Germany’s is currently lower at 5.4%, but the British and French political economy have a long-term advantage over Germany’s: adequate fertility. Germany is facing incipient demographic implosion and has had persistent subreplacement fertility (~1.4 tfr) for a generation. Britain and France currently are reproducing near replacement levels (~2.0 tfr). Public sector borrowing in Britain is currently running at 4.3% of domestic product per annum, a figure I doubt we shall see in the States until the capital markets tell the U.S. Government to get stuffed. Ultimately, a succession of British governments had the sense to keep clear of the vampire Euro currency. The place is just the least wrecked large economy in Europe.

  • Chris you referred to a coalition which is my point. The other two parts of that coalition aligned with the Khmer Rouge for fighting purposes but had no ideological love for them.

    framing it as though Thatcher and Reagan wanted to bring the Khmer Rouge back to power is again, not accurate.

  • As far as South Africa that was a Cold War convenience alliance cuz of the civil wars in neighboring countries. we can talk about the morality of such alliances but the implication of ’80s arguments from the left seems to be that while apartheid was evil Communism was just flawed. anti-anti-Communism and all that.

  • Chris, this north-south divide is exaggerated. Leeds and Newcastle, which epitomised decline in the 1970s are completely transformed. I suppose if you lived in a pit village in Co. Durham you might feel a bit miffed, but let’s face it, most of the pits were hopelessly uneconomic, miners were always complaining about what a rotten job it was, and environmentally-driven European policies would have shut the industry down anyway.

    To suggest that she was motivated by spite or was indifferent to the plight of millions of her fellow-countrymen is a convenient left-wing myth which has been kicking around since the 1980s. Most of the people celebrating her death with tasteless street parties weren’t even born in 1979. And talk about destroying human lives is tosh, and uncharitable and unCatholic tosh at that.

  • John Nolan I have said before that I am not a socialist. I have seen first had what a combination of militant left wing local politicians combined with a hard right-wing government can do to a place. I agree that some reforms were needed. That does not mean that her set of reforms were the correct ones. Many of her policies have been reversed by successive labour governments. You are correct in suggesting that no one has questioned the idea of liberal economics though. In that regard she really did win. Our current economic crisis stems from that victory.

    Red Robbo et al were crazy but other countries in Europe have had strong unions and still managed to retain their automotive industries. There are no major British car companies now, the few cars we make are for other countries companies.

    The Left in the UK is largely to blame for Thatcher. Had they been more reasonable and less extreme then she would not of had such a mandate. (This is something the right in America should learn I would draw parallels with the “militant tenancy” and “the tea part”y ) I have acknowledged that she ratcheted the centre ground right.

    The point I have already made was that she collectively punished regions for the intransigence of the few. The tough medicine was never handed out in conservative southern England. It was political punishment for not cooperating and it was gleefully dished out.

    There is a reason why the conservatives have not won a general election since 1992, it is not because of John Major (they didn’t win the last one and had to form a coalition when facing the lame duck that was Gordon Brown). There is a reason why she is still hated by many in the UK, it is not a collective fantasy and it is not a minority view.

    In many ways the Labour party should thank Thatcher. The hatred of her policies gave them a win at all costs mentality that they did not have before.

    I shall leave it at that. My intention was not to argue with everyone over the detail but to challenge the idea that it is a minority left wing point of view to hate Thatcher. If any of you have ever been north of Watford in the UK you will realise that it is a widely held point of view by many people with no particular political affiliation.

  • Cael Schmitt wrote that every realm of human endeavour is structured by an irreducible duality. Morality is concerned with good and evil, aesthetics with the beautiful and the ugly, and economics with the profitable and the unprofitable. In politics, the core distinction is between friend and enemy.

    That is what makes politics different from everything else. ’States arise as a means of continuing, organizing and channelling political struggle. It is political struggle, which gives rise to political order. Any entity involved in friend-enemy relations is by definition political, whatever its origin or the origin of the differences leading to enmity: “a religious community which wages wars against members of others religious communities or engages in other wars is already more than a religious communality”

  • Pingback: How the Left Still <b>Hates</b> Maggie Thatcher | The <b>American</b> Catholic | americahates.com
  • Is this the same Marget Thatcher who supported South African apartheid, the murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet responsible for the assassination and torture of tens of thousands of Chileans, and who made life for prosperous for the rich and worse for the poor? It was Friedman’s neoliberal economic policies that have put us in the mess we are in today. I think the outrage expressed by many in the UK was thoroughly justified. I am quite shocked by the essay and the comments.

  • Thatcher did not support apartheid or Pinochet. Pinochet supported Britain in the Falkland’s War and the British government sold to Pinochet some obsolete Hawker-Hunter bomber fighters in return. Pinochet’s economic policies made Chile vastly more prosperous to the benefit of all Chileans, after the Marxist government of Allende had done its very worst to wreck the Chilean economy. The policy recommendations of Milton Friedman have absolutely nothing to do with our current economic travails that are the result of polices directly contrary to those proposed by Friedman.

  • Is this the same Marget Thatcher who supported South African apartheid, the murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet responsible for the assassination and torture of tens of thousands of Chileans, and who made life for prosperous for the rich and worse for the poor? It was Friedman’s neoliberal economic policies that have put us in the mess we are in today. I think the outrage expressed by many in the UK was thoroughly justified. I am quite shocked by the essay and the comments.

    While it is hard to tell if you’re particularly serious, I will take the bait.

    1. Carrying on ordinary diplomatic and trade relations with foreign governments does not render you responsible for much of anything done in the course of public policy there.

    2. In terms of magnitude, neither the government of Chile nor the government of South Africa were exceptionally abusive.

    3. Even the insipid characters at Amnesty International never accused Augusto Pinochet’s government of killing ‘tens of thousands’ of individuals. (The correct number is about 3,000, nearly all prior to 1978).

    and who made life for prosperous for the rich and worse for the poor?

    Come up with the income distribution figures or shut your mouth.

    It was Friedman’s neoliberal economic policies that have put us in the mess we are in today.

    Can you give us a reference to remarks by Dr. Friedman where he advocated:

    1. Erecting government-sponsored crony-capitalist enterprises (run by Democratic Party hacks) to trade in the secondary mortgage market.

    2. Adopting a mix of policies which provided for such enterprises to dominate the secondary mortgage market.

    3. Harried such enterprises (as well as mortgage originators) to slash their underwriting standards.

    4. Blocking efforts sponsored by George W. Bush, Gregory Mankiw, Richard Shelby, and John McCain to require such enterprises to improve their accounting practices and bulk up their capital cushions.

    ???

  • The left still hates Mrs. Thatcher like the devil hates Holy Water.

    PS; Peter M:

    Splain how Mrs. Thatcher supported apartheid, swammie.

    Pinochet saved his country. You have a list of the people he killed? Chile is the most prosperous nation in Latin America: thanks to Pinochet and Chilean economists that studied under Dr. Friedman. Chile could become the most prosperous nation in the Western Hemisphere, as the USA implodes.

    If only the US (including both Presidents Bush) had followed Friedman’s economics we would not have suffered the current Long Recession, and we would not be facing econodammerung.

    Your problem isn’t what you don’t know. It is that you “know” isn’t true. Ergo, you voted Obama.

    Shocking!

  • Swammie? I think that should be Swami, unless you are using the urban dictionary, and are referring to me as a firearm. If you are going to try to insult me, please get the spelling correct. Well, where should I begin? The disavowals punctuating the intinerary of responses to my queries are symptomatic of a willful social amnesia; perhaps they constitute ‘opinons’ spawned by a cabal of Fox News journalists, designed to keep the regime in tact (no, not the Democrats or Republicans but the regime of capital). There appears to be a studied refusal to engage with reality evidenced by several of the responses. Shoddy ideological platitudes won’t do, and only enfeeble the positions already put forward. Ask economists of various political stripes and you will learn that Friedman is the best known exponent of economic neoliberalism–his consequentialist libertarianism put him at odds with classical neoliberalism. His monetarism and laissez-faire absolutism was disastrous. Not even mainstream economists are monetarists anymore. And let’s get some ontological clarity on Thatcher. Thatcher labelled Mandela a “terrorist” and even Prime Minister Cameron has acknowledged they got it wrong on Mandela, that he was “one of the greatest men alive.” She refused sanctions on South Africa during the most bloody years of apartheid rule, tantamount to a rule of state terror, and only went against sanctions after 1986, following the US lead. Thatcher visited Pinochet who was under house arrest in London, to thank him for all he did for the UK, ignoring Pinochet’s bloody rule of terror. Yes, the ‘official’ death toll was 3,200, but that is not including the 400,000 victims of torture and the tens of thousands who were disappeared. Remember, Thatcher and Reagan supported the dead squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina, figuring that it was better to support murderous fascists than let communism take hold of Las Americas. Thatcher was as egregious a leader as Ronald Reagan, whose support of the Contras was an abomination since they murdered unarmed women, children and school teachers. If you were part of the ruling elite under Reagan or Thatcher, you likely prospered under his policies but in is incontestable that they created a wider gap between the rich and the poor. In fact, the US ranks among the most unequal countries in the world. I assume that all of us here are in favor of justice, and equality and freedom and democracy–participatory democracy.

  • perhaps they constitute ‘opinons’ spawned by a cabal of Fox News journalists

    followed by

    Shoddy ideological platitudes won’t do,

    Equals skipping to the next comment.

  • Which exactly makes my case about social amnesia and a studied refusal to engage with reality. thank you.

  • Which exactly makes my case about social amnesia and a studied refusal to engage with reality. thank you.

    You come onto a blog, write a long wall of text, blithely ignore most of the points made by your interlocuters, and then proceed to accuse them of talking in cliches seconds after spouting one of the most hackneyed cliches in all of politics. So I gave you and your response all of the attention it merited.

  • Which points did I ignore, and I am happy to address them. I came on to the blog astonished at the support of Thatcher. As a Catholic who is deeply influenced by liberation theology I put forth my own position, having spent the last 25 years visiting and working in Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. I am neither a Republican nor am I now a Democrat. Thank you for your time. Remain in your comfort zone. goodbye.

  • “perhaps they constitute ‘opinons’ spawned by a cabal of Fox News journalists, designed to keep the regime in tact”

    Paranoid rantings do not constitute an argument.

    “There appears to be a studied refusal to engage with reality evidenced by several of the responses.”

    Only if you live in a different reality from what the rest of us inhabit.

    “Ask economists of various political stripes and you will learn that Friedman is the best known exponent of economic neoliberalism–his consequentialist libertarianism put him at odds with classical neoliberalism. His monetarism and laissez-faire absolutism was disastrous.”

    Ex Cathedra statements only hold water on this blog when issued by a Pope.

    “And let’s get some ontological clarity on Thatcher.”

    You really should not use words when you obviously do not know what they mean.

    “Thatcher labelled Mandela a “terrorist” and even Prime Minister Cameron has acknowledged they got it wrong on Mandela, that he was “one of the greatest men alive.””

    Thatcher pressed Botha to give up apartheid and urged him to free Mandela.

    “She refused sanctions on South Africa during the most bloody years of apartheid rule, tantamount to a rule of state terror, and only went against sanctions after 1986, following the US lead.”

    Thatcher believed that sanctions would only hurt poor blacks in South Africa, as they did, and that trade would act against apartheid, as it did.

    “Thatcher visited Pinochet who was under house arrest in London, to thank him for all he did for the UK, ignoring Pinochet’s bloody rule of terror.”

    She thanked him for the Chilean assistance to the UK during the Falklands and for his role in the transition of Chile to democracy.

    “Yes, the ‘official’ death toll was 3,200”

    The real death toll in other words as opposed to the fevered imaginings of Leftists who long for the glory days of Allende.

    “Remember, Thatcher and Reagan supported the dead squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina,”

    Completely untrue, but don’t let facts stand in your way.

    “Thatcher was as egregious a leader as Ronald Reagan, whose support of the Contras was an abomination since they murdered unarmed women, children and school teachers.”

    Actually the Contra policy led to the election of 1990 which tossed the Sandanistas out of power, the Nicaraguan people prefering the opposition to the Sandanistas. The Sandanistas of course violated human rights routinely during their time in power.

    http://www.cmpage.org/betrayal/chapt7.html

    “If you were part of the ruling elite under Reagan or Thatcher, you likely prospered under his policies but in is incontestable that they created a wider gap between the rich and the poor.”

    Reagan and Thatcher left their countries far more prosperous than they found them. Would that the current leadership in both their nations had the wisdom to follow their policies.

  • McLaren: If you had extant functional gray matter, I’d provide you with the comprehensive answer my son’s (advanced degree engineers) Argentine friends gave me to my question, “Why is Argentina, a nation with vast natural resources and a highly educated population, an economic “basket case”?

    “Don’t bogart that joint, my friend. Pass it over to me . . . “

  • “perhaps they constitute ‘opinons’ spawned by a cabal of Fox News journalists, designed to keep the regime in tact”

    Paranoid rantings do not constitute an argument.

    ASSERTIONS SUCH AS YOURS FAIL TO CONSTITUTE AN ARGUMENT.

    “There appears to be a studied refusal to engage with reality evidenced by several of the responses.”

    Only if you live in a different reality from what the rest of us inhabit.

    APPARENTLY I DO. AND I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT.

    “Ask economists of various political stripes and you will learn that Friedman is the best known exponent of economic neoliberalism–his consequentialist libertarianism put him at odds with classical neoliberalism. His monetarism and laissez-faire absolutism was disastrous.”

    Ex Cathedra statements only hold water on this blog when issued by a Pope.

    OR IF APPROVED BY OPUS DEI, NO DOUBT.

    “And let’s get some ontological clarity on Thatcher.”

    You really should not use words when you obviously do not know what they mean.

    THAT’S USUALLY WHAT MY BOOK CRITICS TELL ME WHEN THEY ARE TOO LAZY TO REACH FOR A DICTIONARY.

    “Thatcher labelled Mandela a “terrorist” and even Prime Minister Cameron has acknowledged they got it wrong on Mandela, that he was “one of the greatest men alive.””

    Thatcher pressed Botha to give up apartheid and urged him to free Mandela.

    YES, MAGGIE COME-LATELY. WASN’T THAT AFTER THE US CONGRESS PASSED THE 1986 ANTI-APARTHEID ACT?

    “She refused sanctions on South Africa during the most bloody years of apartheid rule, tantamount to a rule of state terror, and only went against sanctions after 1986, following the US lead.”

    Thatcher believed that sanctions would only hurt poor blacks in South Africa, as they did, and that trade would act against apartheid, as it did.

    WHAT ACTED AGAINST APARTHEID WERE SANCTIONS.

    “Thatcher visited Pinochet who was under house arrest in London, to thank him for all he did for the UK, ignoring Pinochet’s bloody rule of terror.”

    She thanked him for the Chilean assistance to the UK during the Falklands and for his role in the transition of Chile to democracy.

    DEMOCRACY? YES, THAT’S INTERESTING, HE TOPPLED A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT IN ORDER TO CREATE ‘DEMOCRACY.’ YES, I SUPPOSE THAT MAKES SENSE IN YOUR WORLD.
    THATCHER ALSO APPROVED COVERT ARMS FOR IRAQI DICTATOR SADDAM HUSSEIN–AS DID REAGAN, WHILE SADDAM HUSSEIN USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

    “Yes, the ‘official’ death toll was 3,200”

    The real death toll in other words as opposed to the fevered imaginings of Leftists who long for the glory days of Allende.

    ALLENDE WAS A RELATIVELY MODERATE LEFTIST. MUCH PREFERABLE TO PINOCHET, WHO MURDERED ALLENDE. REMEMBER WHEN ARGENTINA WAS THE POSTER CHILD FOR NEOLIBERAL ECONOMICS? LOOK WHAT HAPPENED. THANK GOODNESS THEY REFUSED TO PAY BACK THE IMF.

    “Remember, Thatcher and Reagan supported the dead squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina,”

    Completely untrue, but don’t let facts stand in your way.

    CORRECTION, YES, MORE SPECIFICALLY IT WAS US ADMINISTRATIONS, DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN. DONT LET THE FACTS STAND IN THE WAY OF WHAT US SUPPORT FOR THE SALVADOREAN JUNTA, UNDER CARTER, DID TO ARCHBISHOP ROMERO. BY THE WAY, ISNT HE A PROSPECT FOR SAINTHOOD? DO YOU REMEMBER THE JESUITS KILLED IN EL SALVADOR?

    “Thatcher was as egregious a leader as Ronald Reagan, whose support of the Contras was an abomination since they murdered unarmed women, children and school teachers.”

    Actually the Contra policy led to the election of 1990 which tossed the Sandanistas out of power, the Nicaraguan people prefering the opposition to the Sandanistas. The Sandanistas of course violated human rights routinely during their time in power.

    I WAS NEVER A FAN OF ORTEGA, PREFERRING ERNESTO CARDINAL. BUT YOU COULD HARDLY COMPARE THE SANDINISTAS TO THE CONTRAS. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY CRAZY. IF YOU WERE A FAN OF THE TORTUROUS SOMOZA REGIME, THEN PERHAPS YOU MIGHT WANT TO MOVE TO FLORIDA, IF YOU DONT ALREADY LIVE THERE. THERE ARE PLENTY MEMBERS OF HIS MURDEROUS REGIME ENJOYING THE BEACHFRONT LIFE.

    “If you were part of the ruling elite under Reagan or Thatcher, you likely prospered under his policies but in is incontestable that they created a wider gap between the rich and the poor.”

    Reagan and Thatcher left their countries far more prosperous than they found them. Would that the current leadership in both their nations had the wisdom to follow their policies.

    INDEED, THERE WAS AN ECONOMIC boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen. A recession was inevitable under Voodoo economic policy.

    According to Paul Krugman, nobel prize winner in economics (sorry, I’m not quoting the Pope so I hope I’m not wasting my time):

    I understand why conservatives want to rewrite history and pretend that these good things happened while a Republican was in office — or claim, implausibly, that the 1981 Reagan tax cut somehow deserves credit for positive economic developments that didn’t happen until 14 or more years had passed. (Does Richard Nixon get credit for “Morning in America”?)
    Like Ronald Reagan, President Bush began his term in office with big tax cuts for the rich and promises that the benefits would trickle down to the middle class. Like Reagan, he also began his term with an economic slump, then claimed that the recovery from that slump proved the success of his policies.

    And like Reaganomics — but more quickly — Bushonomics has ended in grief. The public mood today is as grim as it was in 1992. Wages are lagging behind inflation. Employment growth in the Bush years has been pathetic compared with job creation in the Clinton era. Even if we don’t have a formal recession — and the odds now are that we will — the optimism of the 1990s has evaporated.

    This is, in short, a time when progressives ought to be driving home the idea that the right’s ideas don’t work, and never have.

    I REST MY CASE., AGAIN

    More Articles in Opinion »

  • “Pinochet saved his country. You have a list of the people he killed”

    OK I am all for putting things in context (including dictatorships of whatever ideological stripe) but come on. stuff’s well-documented.

    “Remember, Thatcher and Reagan supported the dead squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina, figuring that it was better to support murderous fascists than let communism take hold of Las America”

    no they didn’t support “dead squads.” The government in El Salvador at the time for example was centrist. It’s true that there were far-right groups operating/there were Contra atrocities but these facts do not = we should have been indifferent to Communist governments/insurgencies in the region.

  • I AM SURE YOUR SON’S ARGENTINE FRIENDS WITH THEIR ADVANCED DEGREES ARE GOOD PEOPLE, AND I ASSUME YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON. I GENERALLY MAKE THAT ASSUMPTION ABOUT PEOPLE. HOWEVER, I VISIT ARGENTINA REGULARLY, AND HAVE PLENTY OF ACCESS TO LEARNED OPINIONS ON THE ECONOMIC SITUATION THERE. AND I HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT IT EXTENSIVELY. WHICH ISN’T TO SAY I CAN’T BE WRONG. BUT THANKS FOR THE OFFER.

  • YOU PREFER THE AFGHAN CIVIL WAR/TALIBAN TO THE PROGRESSIVE SOVIET REGIME??? YOU PREFER A BROKEN, HIGH-UNEMPLOYMENT RUSSIA TO THE USSR???

    see you can do this for a lot of things and it doesn’t make it convincing.

  • Hmm, this might be a helpful primer to people having keyboard issues tonight.
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060929164844AAtIlfH

  • MIGHT I MAKE A SUGGESTION. THERE IS AN EXCELLENT MOVIE PRODUCED BY THE PAULIST FATHERS, STARRING THE LATE RAUL JULIA. IT IS CALLED “ROMERO” AND EXPLORES MUCH OF THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN EL SALVADOR, PRIOR TO ARCHBISHOP ROMERO’S ASSASSINATION. SALVADOREANOS WHO HAVE DISCUSSED THIS WITH ME HAVE BEEN SURPRISED BY ITS ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF EVENTS AS THEY RECALLED THEM. YOU CAN WATCH THE FILM FREE ON YOUTUBE.

  • GREAT ADVICE PAUL. BUT ISN’T YOUR WEBSITE ADVICE A CALL TO ELIMINATE YOUR OWN VOICE? SEEMS LIKE PRETTY SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ADVICE.
    OF COURSE, SARCASM ASIDE, IT’S NOT UNCOMMON FOR IDEOLOGUES TO CALL SOMEONE WHO DISAGREES WITH THEM CRAZY. DIDNT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY THAT ABOUT GALILEO? WELL, I THOUGHT I WOULD END MY SOJOURN HERE BY RECOMMENDING A GOOD FILM PRODUCED BY THE PAULIST FATHERS. AND THE RESPONSE FROM A BOGGER IN A CATHOLIC PUBLICATION IS–THAT’S CRAZY. THAT SAYS IT ALL. I TAKE MY LEAVE OF YOU, WISHING ALL OF YOU GOD SPEED.

  • PS, IF YOU CAN REFRAIN FROM A RESPONSE, I WON’T BOTHER TO REPLY. BEST WISHES.

  • Peter,

    I think it’s time to say goodbye to you as well. Cheers.

    BTW, though you’re gone now and it doesn’t matter much, I will note that the Galileo dig reveals much more about your Catholicity than you intended.

  • You’re an ideologue if you don’t think any and all structural problems in Latin America warrant a don’t-call-it-socialist cure mayn. k.

Of Special People and Common Idiots

Thursday, June 9, AD 2011

Hattip to Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal. With one of my sons being autistic, it is little surprise that one of my favorite charities is Special Olympics.  It allows people who too often spend much of life on the sidelines  to compete as athletes and to be admired for what they can accomplish in overcoming the handicaps that life has dealt them.  The whole Special Olympics program is magnificent for special people and their parents, relatives and friends.  One would think that such an organization would be respected by all.  I guess not.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Continue reading...

22 Responses to Of Special People and Common Idiots

  • I’ve noticed that they’ve taken down their facebook page, or at least it is currently unavailable. I guess when each and every person wrote in to tell them what incredible idiots they all were they realized their public support was less than 100 percent.

  • These are Kurt’s people. Take the ban off and let him make a fool of himself defending his union buddies.

  • I can’t come up with words foul enough to describe the lowlifes who could pull a stunt like this and ruin a day to honor Special Olympians. I didn’t think anyone could sink as low as Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist crew, but the public employee unions of the State of Wisconsin have proven me wrong.

  • This is just awful! What numbskull thought it was a good idea to protest at the Special Olympics?! I hope the Olympians had a great time anyway. These union supporters should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Jay Nordlinger writes about the idea of “safe zones”: that a person should be able to go to a concert, for example, without having someone foist his politics on him. This is the nastiest safe zone violation I’ve ever heard of.

  • Imagine there is no liberal.

  • I teach special needs kids age 17-22. If I could have reached through the monitor I would have committed a mortal sin on these protestors. Even Mother Theresa would b–ch slap these people.

  • What astonishes me about the protesters is that their hijacking of
    the kid’s moment with the governor was clearly planned, not impromptu.
    I could understand it if someone made an ass of himself because he
    was caught up in the moment, but these people got together, created
    costumes, applied makeup, and choreographed their movements.
    How is it that in all the time it took to do that, no one in the group
    realized that what they were about to do was so grotesque? It is
    chilling that there was not one shred of decency to be found amongst
    all the members of that group. What won’t they stoop to?

  • In my lifetime, I’ve known several mentally ill people, a couple of brain-damaged people, and have met several mentally disabled people. These idiots who disrupted a Special Olympics events becase they didn’t like the Governor shows the utter heartlessness of people committed to an ideology. It’s one thing to disageee with the Governor, it’s just cruel to abuse innocent people in this way. I hope the law in Madison throws the book at these creep! Maybe McClary can be appointed special prosecuter! LOL!

  • Since the pro-union protesters have made a point of showing up at the Capitol and protesting Gov. Walker’s public appearances on a regular basis, in retrospect, outside the Capitol might not have been the ideal place to hold this awards event… but even that probably wouldn’t have stopped these protestors.

    One would think liberal Democrats would respect Special Olympics because of its connection to the Kennedys (having been founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver) and because its “everybody wins” approach (entirely appropriate for developmentally disabled persons) is something liberals in general seem to want to impose on all educational and recreational activities even when it is NOT needed or appropriate. Then again, given that so many liberal Democrats fight tooth and nail for the right to kill these children before birth, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

    As I’m sure you know, Don, autistic youth and those with other developmental disabilities don’t take too kindly to sudden disruptions in their routine; plus they tend to take things much more literally and personally than “normal” or neurotypical people do. What did these Special Olympians think when these rude people all drenched in fake blood and gory makeup appeared? Most of them probably don’t know, or care, about public employee unions or collective bargaining rights; all they know is that a bunch of people showed up at their special event and started acting really weird. We may realize it wasn’t aimed at them, but they may not, and it may have been extremely disturbing to some of them.

    Finally, this debacle just goes to show how far off the rails the concepts of civil disobedience and free speech have gone in the media age. It’s one thing to take upon ONESELF the consequences of disobeying an unjust law or order; it’s another thing entirely to call attention to one’s cause by simply being an (expletive deleted) regardless of the hardship or indignity it causes OTHERS.

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) “Most of them probably don’t know, or care, about public employee unions or collective bargaining rights; all they know is that a bunch of people showed up at their special event and started acting really weird. We may realize it wasn’t aimed at them, but they may not, and it may have been extremely disturbing to some of them.”
    Elaine, I was telling Don something along those same lines yesterday at home, before we saw your comment. Had our son been there, he probably would have become quite upset at “mean people” interrupting what he had been expecting to happen. (Now, if the union thugs had been a bit more clever, they could have dressed up as Star Wars stormtroopers. Our son loves Star Wars — but he probably would have tried to touch them and talk to them then, and that probably wasn’t the effect the union thugs were going for. Oh, well!)

  • I am stunned and horrified at everyone blaming the victims – the protestors are just fighting for their rights to live in peace and harmony. So a few handicapped people were inconvenienced; their day must be sacrificed for the greater good and liberation of the working person (notice I did not say “man” because that would be sexist). LONG LIVE THE REVOLUITION!! It was the draconian, jack booted Nazi, black helicopter flying, Earth hating, Darth Vader-like behavior of the Republican Governor that caused the problem – if Mr. Walker would stop taking away the workers rights, the workers would not have had to been there.

    “A man must be sacrificed now and again to provide for the next generation of men.” – Amy Lowell. It was the Special Olympics day to sacrifice so the next generation may survive. It was caused by the inevitable march of history not the poor choices of the protestors.

    I am sure President Obama has contacted the Special Olympics and talked to them about restoring civility to our national discourse.

    Some may dislike what must be said but someone or organization must sacrificed for the greater good. To paraphrase George Orwell “To Sacrifice is Strength.”

  • Catholiclawyer.

    Are you serious????

    If so, you are a freak.

  • Don, I suspect that your sarcasm detector might need some fine tuning…

  • Now Don, you should have realized from many of my posts over the years that anyone with “lawyer” in his nom de internet may occasionally “illustrate absurdity by being absurd”! 🙂 Bravo CatholicLawyer!

    It just goes to show Don, never take at face value anything said by those sneaky attorneys! 🙂

  • I assume C/L’s “sarc-squared” function was operational.

    The point: Liberals and gov employee unions are not renowned for their intellectual acuity . . . their talents center on looting taxpayers.

  • Aha !! Mea culpa.

    I must say though, that meaningful and impacting sarcasm should be kept brief; but because it went on and on……

    Oh well, lawyers – talk a lot and say nothing. 🙂

  • How dare you Don! I will have to write a 250,000 word post to refute that libel! 🙂

  • Before you get started, I will have to plead “no contest” 🙂

    (mainly to avoid the pain) 😉

  • Their disruption of the ceremony was vile indeed, but my first thought was “They dressed like zombies?” In other words, the protesters simply reinforced the perception that they are unthinking automatons in bad need of brains. Yes, there were severely mentally challenged people at this event – and it’s not the Special Olympians I’m referring to.

    Sheesh. I’m a Wisconsinite and I am sick to death of Wisconsin politics. But I guess that is the leftist game plan – to wear down ordinary people to the point where we give up and let the left win, simply to stop the shouting.

    Except we’ve figured out that these folks never stop shouting.

  • It was mild sarcasim, the greatest form of humor (at least for me). As for lawyers talking a lot and saying nothing – there may be some truth to that but I will wait for Don’s brief.

  • Courage, Donna V.

    Last Laugh Department:

    WI Supreme Court upheld Gov. Walker’s bill reforming public employee unions – abolishing automatic withholding of dues, which was the cause of all this crap.

    The legislature, a judicial special election (where union organization should have been decisive), and the WISC all righteously beat them down.

    And, all along they showed us that they are thugs and, even worse, hurt a lot of little children.