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IWP mourns the passing of Margaret Thatcher

Dear Friends of IWP,

We at the Institute would like to pay special recognition to the memory of Margaret Thatcher.

Many on the faculty were serving in the U.S. government in the years when she was Prime Minister of Great Britain. These were some of the most tense years of the Cold War, and the President for whom some of us worked had taken an extraordinary leadership role in the Western cause in that war.

It is worth remembering how President Reagan was vilified for his opposition to the 1970s policies of détente with the Soviet Union, how he was ridiculed and mocked as a primitive intellect, and how people who shared his understanding of communism and the malevolence of the Soviet Union were subjected to ostracism from respectable academic circles, respectable policy circles, as well as polite society in general. It took immense courage for President Reagan to take the stances that he did, and courage for so many of those who worked with him to support him in a public fashion.

It was in this context that Margaret Thatcher emerged as President Reagan’s closest ally within the Western alliance. Her articulate, well-thought-out, and principled position in the Cold War and in support of President Reagan’s policies made it so that neither our President nor the United States itself was isolated in this twilight struggle.

In recent years, Americans have grown impatient with some of our allies when they have not always agreed with every aspect of American policy. But, as Winston Churchill once said, the only thing worse than having allies is not having them.

Lady Thatcher couldn’t have been of greater support to President Reagan and the Western cause–the cause of legitimate republican government, human rights, the rule of law, individual responsibility, respect for the dignity of the individual human person, and morally ordered liberty–all those things which were denied hundreds of millions of people in the communist world.

It was Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, along with Pope John Paul II, who bore moral witness to the evil forces that denied the most basic rights to those millions behind the Iron Curtain. It was the refusal of those three leaders to abandon those millions that ultimately gave them courage to bring about the peaceful political changes that buried Soviet communism.

Humanity owes Margaret Thatcher an enormous debt of gratitude for her defense of freedom. RIP.


John Lenczowski
Founder and President

Bill Casey and Margaret Thatcher

Above: Bill Casey, former Director of Central Intelligence and father-in-law of IWP board chairman Owen Smith, with Lady Margaret Thatcher.