Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Saturday, October 1, 2016

WASHINGTON — Two important conservatives departed this life within days of each other. One was a world-historical figure with extravagant political gifts, and she rarely harbored any doubts about the way forward. The other’s misgivings about politics led him to counsel Christians to undertake a political “fast” and “flock to soup kitchens, battered women’s shelters, prison cells and hospitals.”

Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday, changed Britain and altered the trajectory of global politics. David Kuo, who passed away last Friday, received well-earned attention for his work in and out of politics on behalf of the poor. But he would almost certainly laugh, dismissively if merrily, at the idea of a former White House aide being linked with someone so central to the narrative of our era.

Yet because Thatcher, 87, and Kuo, 44, represented two sides of the conservative disposition and two forms of the “conviction politics” for which the Iron Lady was known, both have much to teach us about the debate we need now.

Thatcher’s was the stern conservatism of the marketplace. She valued the virtues of thrift and enterprise, evangelizing not about religion but about an economic system. She loved capitalism for its “vivacity” and “verve,” for “the energy, the vigor, the dynamism” it promoted, and she set her face against collectivism and socialism.

Kuo was no less committed to capitalism in principle. But his faith was religious. He was one of the original “compassionate conservatives,” and he remained one to his dying day. As his friend Joe Klein of Time magazine put it: “He was a man of faith, rather than of religion. He called himself a Follower of Jesus. Many of his friends had ministries, but David’s church truly had no walls.”

Kuo’s passions were engaged less by honoring the contributions of the successful than by demanding attention to the suffering of those left out of the grand capitalist party — among them the 35 million Americans “at risk of hunger every day,” and the million people “released from prison every year with virtually no one to help them productively re-enter society.”

Thatcher’s fans loved her for the enemies she made among trade unionists, leftist intellectuals and members of her own Conservative Party (“the wets” as they were labeled) prepared to compromise with the forces of socialism.

Kuo ruffled feelings after he left the White House when he sharply criticized the workings of former President Bush’s faith-based initiative. This disillusionment led to his suggestion of a Christian political fast in his 2006 book, Tempting Faith.

  • Canistercook

    Thousands of poor in the U.K. became ‘middle class’ as a result of Thatcher and now own their own homes and have flourished. She helped the ‘poor’ by elevating the living conditions of the country. Only those that think that government and unions should do everything for you resent her. She provided the recovery for the U.K. when they needed it.

    • english_teacher

      If that is the case, then how do you explain the fact that, since Margaret Thatcher’s death, “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead” is rising on this week’s UK singles mid-week sales charts (currently no. 4) and is also currently at number two in the iTunes download chart?

      • Canistercook

        Mostly because the young who listen to that kind of music don’t have a lot of common sense yet! That’s the same kind of people who fouled up cities and the front of St. Paul’s with their OWS sit ins and encampments.

        • english_teacher

          Or maybe Thatcher, like Reagan, wasn’t the paragon that you think she was. In any case, in reviewing the articles on line, there is nothing to indicate that the people buying the song are mostly young. BTW, at what age does a young person receive common sense? I’d say that a lot of young people, including those of OWS have a lot of common sense.

          Regarding your the claim about the UK poor entering the middle class, please provide some reliable sources with statistics and analysis to support your opinion. Otherwise, it’s based on nothing. Maybe you don’t even believe it. After all, you put middle class in quotation marks and that normally means that something isn’t true.

          • angelsinca

            Please provide the “reliable sources with statistics and analysis to support your opinion” that a lot of young people have a lot of common sense.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I think my Dog Shadow has more common sense than 99% of the people currently living in this country right now:) She would make a better Human than most people I know.

            And, I don’t have much faith in any new generations either.

          • angelsinca

            I have ample hope for our youth, despite the poisoning trends that allow them an undiscioplined existence where they don’t have to account for themselves. I like pet owners, except that they generally don’t like people and seem to need control over another beast.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Hah! Control over another beast? I think my dog has more control over me these days.

            I have no desire to control any other beast except human from invading my privacy and securing my liberty and rights. I do suppose trying to keep at least some form of sanity could be called a form of control. Could this be termed “control over another beast”? Probably so.

            Your’re right though, I DON’T like “most” people. Personally, even pointing to my own demise, I feel this planet would be a whole lot better off without humans being on it. At the rate we’re going, that might just come to pass. Only problem is, IF that happens, chances are all living being on this planet will be extinct as well. Seems to me control of the human beast and its inbreed need to kill and destroy would be a good idea.

            Maybe the Ants might take it over after all. They’ve been known to live totally off of Radiation and chemicals that would instantly kill anything else.

            Eh, so much for flushing everything down the toilet drain…………

          • angelsinca

            Your honesty is appreciated, MK. My bet is on the survival of ants, bees and cockroaches.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I’m not so sure about the Bees. Out West, colonies are dieing off by the thousands and disappearing faster than Pancakes during breakfast.

            And, these little buggers are the ones that Pollinate our Crops that grow to feed us. And, its becoming a major problem. Our scientist haven’t a clue what is going on either.

            Maybe these Bees know something we don’t!

            I got a bet going on the Ants and certainly the Cockroaches.

          • angelsinca

            I agree; the loss of bees is a huge concern and should draw much more attention than it has.

          • Sand_Cat

            Please provide the statistics and analysis to support your opinion that you have any sense at all.

          • angelsinca

            Yours is an interesting case of delusion, cat_box. Sorry you are upset that my comments don’t address the specifics you want to hear. Don’t care much for your imagined claims of posturing behind a cross, or that you falsely accuse of using the bible to attack you (yes, you lie). You blame dissimilar attitudes for your difficulties with religion and life in general. You burden yourself and those around you with intolerance and disprespect for contrary opinion.

            You insult the first amendment. You regularly provoke others simpy because another commentor is conservative, christian or republican. I defend against those ad hominem attacks and challenge the unnecessary agressions. It’s as though you aren’t aware everything you post is public record and easily ascertained as censoring BS. You may want to review the TOS.

            If you had an ounce of courage or integrity, you would accept your own failings instead of blaming others. You remind me of that Obama politician; everything is someone else’s fault. Perhaps you could use your time more wisely and groom the box you dump in every once in a while, kitty_litter. XOXOXO

          • english_teacher

            I gave my opinion about young people and, as an opinion, I don’t have to provide sources for your idiotic comment. You are obviously free to disagree with my opinion.

            However, I didn’t make a claim about the public record of a politician. If Thatcher did what Canistercook said, then there should be something to back it up. I’m just asking for proof of his statement because I’m not finding the same adulatory press about Thatcher. She and Ronald Reagan, in my opinion, were disasters for both our countries, whose effects will continue for the foreseeable future.

          • angelsinca

            You didn’t quite get the sarcasm that pointer out your unreasonable request for substantiation from canistercook. If you are going to insist on ridiculous conditions for offering opinion, you should be prepared to back up your own claims/opinions, and not just qualifying statements. Claiming idiocy is the hallmark of restricted intelligence, just so you know.

          • english_teacher

            No, the sarcasm did not come through.
            If the goal of your comment is to raise the level of discourse, then I hope you will hold the Canistercooks to the same standards that you wish to hold me. I do not understand why asking Canistercan to provide reliable sources to support his statements is unreasonable. Since he has never replied, could it mean that he has nothing that supports his opinion?

          • angelsinca

            You’d have to ask canistercook, though your derragatory moniker hashing and your controlling impositions could explain why you are being disregarded. Discourse is not my intent. It is always irritating to see unreasonably high standards for posting an opinion in a public forum, especially when the imposer refutes the need to oblige in kind. Offering an excuse for not complying is only an excuse to mask your own laziness and hypocrisy. If you need supporting data to challenge someone’s viewpoint, suggest you try Google to educate yourself instead of imposing the assignment on someone else to appease your demands.

          • Common sense know that it is true. Common sense would also say that you cannot conceivably know that it is untrue. Common sense also says that you would know that no statistics exist one way or another. Common sense would say you would have enough common sense to know all this. BUT YOU DON’T.

          • angelsinca

            I have the benefit of raising three children. As a firsdt hand witness, common sense is not a birthright. It is a learned behavior borne from the environment and especially through the seasoning of experience. Yet, just as some things cannot be learned by some people, common sense easily eludes those that aren’t open to the process of seeing something for what it is without bending it to fit their own sense of what hey want it to be. Therefore, due to the supreme intelligence of the liberal that applies additional thought to all realities, they will never be able to achieve common sense.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          And, what’s so wrong about Sit-Ins? At least “some” of us in this country still have a spark of Revolutionary Spirit in us.

          I just hope they don’t give up the fight like my generation did and turn into our parents as a result as we got older. We certainly didn’t get wiser with age either.

          We screwed up! I hope they don’t.

    • LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE! Get a grip, get some facts, learn to tell the truth rather than what the very people causing our ills WANT you to believe.

      • Canistercook

        I have the facts. Relatives that benefitted from Maggie in power. Do you have any real facts or just your rabid imagination
        Sent from my iPad

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    From all the reports, news coverage I hear including some blogs I’m on, the vast majority of their opinions over there point to one single fact – They HATED her guts.

    Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead, seems to be quite fitting.

    Of course, you know Ronnie “One For The Gipper” Reagan loved her.

  • JDavidS

    Thatcher was a cancer that the Brits have yet to fully recover from. “Blue collar” Britain will miss her like they’d miss a case of the clap…Much the same as “Saint Ronnie” in the States. “Iron Lady” and “the Great Communicator”? Hardly… More “Obstinate Twit” and “the Great Con”.

    • Susan Dean

      It is my sincere hope that Thatcher and Reagan are sharing a circle of hell where Maggie has to sing endless choruses of “If I Only Had a Heart” while Ronnie sings “If I Only Had a Brain.” The world is still suffering from the damage done by both of them.

      • angelsinca

        No, the world is suffering from mindless blamers such as yourself. What kind of idiot ridicules a person with dimentia? May you enjoy your later years all alone except for the neighhood kids that tease you for the vacuous drooling.

        • Susan Dean

          300 Argentinian teenagers killed in international waters on her orders, to say nothing of the incalculable damage she did to the British working class. A president whose “supply side” and “trickle down” economics began this country’s descent into financial chaos. Neither deserves a pass because they later developed dementia. Just ask those who suffered and are still suffering because of their policies.

          • angelsinca

            War is hell. No one is asking for a pass for Reagan-you ridiculed the man for not having a brain. He had a medical condition. Get a heart yourself. You could study more than the liberal’s playbook of blaming conservative policy for the financial crisis. It’s easy; search home loans for the unqualified and exec bonuses within fannie mae.

          • Sand_Cat

            He lost his mind long before the Dementia. And he spent lots of time ridiculing others.

          • THEN he should not have been President. As well, Conservative policy HAS impoverished the masses to make way for a moneyed elite.

          • angelsinca

            Get with the program Russell. You are replying to comments that are a week old already. This is nearly a year in social media terms.

        • “No, the world is suffering from mindless blamers such as yourself.” And I do not recall dementia being mentioned. YOU did that. If he did have dementia, he should not have been President. AND, “The world is still suffering from the damage done by both of them” is very true and on topic. Unlike your drivel. . . .

          • angelsinca

            The alzheimer’s was diagnosed late into his second term. Look it up and show a little respect for the dead.

  • Mark Forsyth

    To tell the truth,when Thatcher and Reagan were in office I was much too busy trying to make a living to pay much attention to either one of them.Now and then something about Reagan would get my attention but my reaction was usually that he was reading from a different book than me.I did my part and did not vote for him.

    • angelsinca

      Well said. The most memorable thing I recall about Reagan is there wasn’t much water cooler talk over unwanted social changes. We were all headed in the same general direction then. We were respected as a nation and trusted as a united people to help each other. Not so much anymore.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        I think you might be very mistaken about Reagan and headed all in the same direction.

        He split this country right down the middle with the Busting of the Aircraft Controllers Union and he embraced the Evangelical Movement which further split this country. What you see today, is Reagan’s legacy, jobs being shipped to China because of the demise of union strength, and religion has gotten just a dirty as the politics they became involved with.

        If anything, he might have helped the demise of Communist Russia. However, even with that, studies show they were already falling apart by the time he spoke in Berlin.

        He might have been a very Photogenic president because after all he WAS Grade B Actor. But I think history is going to paint him to be a very naive president and that he is going to fall behind Bush 2 as one of the worst presidents we ever had.

        • jendevizio

          I agree with everything you said. Thank you for saying it so well. Let’s hope the majority sees the truth sooner than later.

  • Canistercook

    Does seem the readers of this National have a lot of hatred and a lot of things to hate!

    • Sand_Cat

      Mostly we hate the lies and malice of people like you. If you don’t like it, try one of the lunatic right’s sites. I’m sure you’d be welcome there.

  • howa4x

    Thatcher was really Ayn Rand is a silly disguise