I am neither a Thatcherite nor a Reaganite, but I’d still take either of them over today’s Republican Party in a heartbeat. Reflecting on Thatcher’s recent passing, Warren Brookes Fellow Matthew Melchiorre and I explore that theme in today’s American Spectator:
In pursuing what she described as an “enterprise society,” Thatcher revolutionized politics on both the right and the left. In fact, her policies were so popular with the working class its support for the Conservative Party was 51 percent higher than normal during her term, according to our calculations of polling data. Thatcher’s restoration of the Conservative Party as a credible alternative to Labour gave Tony Blair no choice but to re-brand Labour into the more market-oriented “New Labour” to win national elections again.
What can today’s Republicans learn from comparing Thatcher’s legacy with their own? The GOP’s failure to match tax cuts with spending cuts hasn’t worked — in the economy or at the ballot box. A better approach to encourage entrepreneurship would be to make real spending cuts, lighten regulation to free up access to credit, and restore government finances through a simpler tax code instead of higher rates.
Thatcher certainly earned her nickname, the Iron Lady. It is a shame that, across the board, today’s politicians are made of much more malleable material. Read the whole thing here.