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From the April 8, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:
Margaret Thatcher has died and the media’s been filled with a lot of extreme comments. Now, many progressives said some genuinely mean, nasty things about Mrs. Thatcher today. I don’t think it’s necessary to do that when all one really needs to do is just list off a few of her policies.

You see, I wanted to find a way to appropriately honor Mrs. Thatcher’s policies today, so I called Nelson Mandela a terrorist.
Then I busted some unions, I took milk away from poor children, I supported the regimes of Saddam Hussein and Augusto Pinochet, I cut taxes for the rich and widened the poverty gap, I sold off England’s basic utilities so people could pay a whole lot more for electricity and water in the U.K., then I insulted working people by saying any man who travels by bus is a failure — all this whilst urinating on miners and setting up a disastrous economy that the people of the U.K. are paying for with austerity today.
Oh, and I supported apartheid and called Mandela a terrorist — I mentioned that, right?

Now you see, that’s kind of mean, but it’s the truth, and you’re not supposed to say hateful things about a world leader on the day they die. And I know this ‘cause I heard it from all my Republican friends who said hateful things about Hugo Chavez on the day he died.

But I happen to think it’s possible to mentally walk and chew gum at the same time. One can appreciate Mrs. Thatcher’s amazing drive and historic success in becoming the first female prime minister of the U.K., while also acknowledging her policies hurt millions and millions and millions of people.

But in the interest of fairness, I wanted to list some of Mrs. Thatcher’s positives:
As a young member of parliament, she did vote to decriminalize homosexuality, she fought for gun control — England has very few handgun murders now — she warned of the dangers of climate change, she refused to meet with Sarah Palin, and allowed Meryl Streep to finally get that third Oscar.

And as a kid of the 80s, I do have to credit Mrs. Thatcher with being the single greatest muse of U.K. protest rock. Mrs. Thatcher’s policies may have been bad for Great Britain, but my friends, this lady inspired more great rock songs than Pattie Boyd Harrison Clapton did.

Elvis Costello documented the ruinous effects of her policies in “Tramp the Dirt Down” and “Shipbuilding,” a song that memorialized an industry Mrs. Thatcher helped drive out of the U.K.

Roger Waters immortalized her on the last real Pink Floyd album, “The Final Cut,” asking “Maggie, what have we done?” in the song “The Post War Dream.”

Morrissey’s first solo album featured the song “Margaret on the Guillotine,” which one can safely guess was not a positive homage.

The English Beat gave us “Stand Down Margaret,” Billy Bragg pretty much has a whole career thanks to Mrs. Thatcher’s economic policies, and don’t forget Sinead O’Connor’s “Black Boys on Mopeds” from 1990.

There’s also the very real possibility that if it weren’t for Mrs. Thatcher’s inspiration, The Clash might have wound up just being the hardest rocking U.K. bubblegum pop band of the 80s.

So we thank Mrs. Thatcher for influencing so many great artists to write protest songs against Mrs. Thatcher.

And to her most ardent fans, all I can say is the belief that Margaret Thatcher’s policies were good for people is kind of like Heidi Montag’s body — it might feel good, but it ain’t necessarily real.

And if you were watching the worshipful coverage of Mrs. Thatcher on Fox News, you might still not know she was finally forced out of power by her own party after the riots caused by her instituting a poll tax. I’m here to help.

Mrs. Thatcher suffered tremendously over the final years of her life. We wish Mrs. Thatcher eternal peace; we wish her defenders temporary historical awareness.



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