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Remembering Margaret Thatcher

Published: Monday, April 15, 2013 12:01 p.m. CDT

Earlier this week, I had the honor of participating in the Legislative Memorial Choir.  Just to clarify, I was not chosen for my vocal talent, but rather there was a need for more male voices particularly in the bass section.  I was honored to participate nonetheless.

This memorial service remembered former legislators who have passed on since the last General Assembly.  Many who participated in the memorial service – candle lighters, readers, and choir – were current senators and representatives.  It was a very special memorial service for me as I happened to personally know one of the deceased representatives and the family members of another.

One thing which was very apparent for all who participated was the level of respect for those former office holders regardless of party affiliation or political ideology.  It was especially meaningful to have current legislators of opposing parties put aside their political differences for a time and give honor to those who have gone before us in the Legislature.

Speaking of memorials, this past week also witnessed the passing of one the 20th Century’s greatest world leaders, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  It should come as no surprise that 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.  While 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, 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 sewn.  Our way of life is usually not too many steps behind theirs.  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 when she dies!  What will they do next?  Tear down all the images of Winston Churchill and replace them with Neville Chamberlin?  Wait a minute.  Given the apparent disconnect the British have with their own history; they probably don’t even know who those men are nor the meaning behind that rhetorical question.

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.

I appreciate and welcome your comments and feedback.   Please feel free to contact me with your issues or concerns as they arise either by phone (515-281-3221), e-mail (greg.heartsill@legis.iowa.gov), or in person when visiting the Capitol or a town hall forum.

On Friday, April 19, I will be at the Last Chance Market in Russell at 8 am and the Knoxville Chamber Office at 4 pm.  I hope to see you at one of these forums.

I am honored to be your representative in the Iowa Legislature.  Until next time, God bless!

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