briefly, thatcher and division problems


Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died today at the age of 87.

I am not getting into the debate over her politics or viewpoints, but she was, regardless of one’s views, a remarkable figure in late 20th Century history. I do, however, strongly object to those who decided the best way to recognize the dead was to mock or make obscene comments. It’s classless and inhuman, and taking the moment to make some kind of ill-advised political ad hominem does nothing but make them, as well as the cause–whatever it may be, because I’m pretty sure they don’t even know–they claim to uphold, look ridiculous. Some of the comments and photos coming out of Britain today have been nothing less than embarrassing.

Then there’s the media coverage.

Many outlets are calling her a divisive figure in political history, some seemed as though they could not be bothered to find another adjective that would perhaps be more flattering or honorific. (In fairness, some of the outlets were overly effusive in kind.) One might well call her politics objectionable, but divisive?

Thatcher won three elections. Elections in a democracy, last I recalled, required a plurality of votes. Thatcher won all three elections pretty convincingly, if my understanding of British election results is somewhere near the target. If anything, by calling her divisive or polarizing, what editorial staffs and media executives are saying is that they are fairly detached from reality. Margaret Thatcher was divisive in the same way Selena Gomez is polarizing because she won at the 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards, which is to say, she’s so polarizing that a minority of voters chose not to vote for her.

Which is to say that, clearly, divisive isn’t the right word for it unless one wants to engage in revisionist history because it didn’t play out the way they wanted it to.

Which is to say, the press and the haters are a considerably butthurt.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died today. And a good part of the world couldn’t be bothered to see past their own noses.

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