Ever since losing the US Presidency to Donald Trump back in 2016, Hillary Clinton has been keeping herself busy. Tweeting out against her former opponent’s administration. Speaking at various functions and junkets all around the world. Writing a couple of books.
The first one, ‘What Happened’ (the most redundant book title in recent history) dealt with how it was everyone else’s fault but her own that she wasn’t elected (James Comey, the FBI, Russia, the Electoral College etc).
Her 2nd and latest offering since the election, ‘The Book of Gutsy Women’ co – written with her daughter Chelsea is, supposedly, a celebration of all those great women throughout history who have blazed a trail, shown great determination and made their mark on the world. However, there was one notable exception: Margaret Thatcher.
When challenged on this recently on BBC Radio while promoting the book in the UK, Clinton offered this explanation for the omission. Margaret Thatcher wasn’t gutsy enough because “she didn’t knock down barriers for others” or “make a positive difference”.
In other words, Thatcher wasn’t one of the “sisterhood”, nor a bleeding – heart liberal victim. Two things bound to rub Hillary Clinton up the wrong way.
You see, the real reason Mrs Clinton left Baroness Thatcher out of her book was because the Iron Lady was everything she wasn’t. Thatcher built her political career on her own merit and hard work, Clinton got hers’ riding on the coattails of her husband’s success as a Governor and President.
Thatcher was a principled politician who stood by her beliefs, Clinton flip – flopped on almost every issue (for example gay marriage) when it suited her politically. Finally, and most importantly, Thatcher was elected leader of her country (three times no less) whereas Clinton lost the nomination to first term US Senator Barack Obama in 2008, and then lost the Electoral College (and thus the presidency) to a motormouth billionaire reality star in 2016. It must be a sore point for her.
Margaret Thatcher did knock down barriers for other people. She broke through not only the glass ceiling but the class ceiling as well. She was the daughter of a middle-class greengrocer who took on not only the good ole boys club in the Tory party but its’ snobbish, elitist landed gentry bastion at the same time to become its leader and then Prime Minister
This inspired a whole generation of people from traditionally working-class backgrounds to turn away from the dreary collective misery of Labour Party socialism, embrace capitalism positively as a form of social aspiration and vote Conservative without feeling like some kind of fraudulent class traitor. A trend that fortunately continues to this day.
This achievement, along with her takedown of obstinate trade unions and support of entrepreneurial ambition, did make a positive difference to Great Britain economically. She was also instrumental in the fight to defeat the USSR and bring an end to the horrors of Communism.
Ask the people who endured years of hardship and heartache living under Soviet rule whether Mrs Thatcher made a positive difference to their lives, or helped knock down any barriers (the Berlin Wall being a pretty big one).
Furthermore, who is Hillary Clinton to determine what makes someone gutsy? This is a woman who has stood by and defended her husband who’s been accused of sexual harassment and assault by various women. He’s an adulterer who abused his position and degraded his office by having an affair with a woman young enough to be his daughter while in power.
Hillary says the bravest thing she’s ever done is staying with Bill Clinton after the Lewinsky scandal. Give me a break! That was taking the easy road and, let’s be honest, something she did it for political expediency and nothing else.
Many people would have had more respect for her (myself included) if she’d ditched him and struck out on her own. Instead, she stayed by his side and verbally attacked the other women. Then, she had the brazenness to assert herself as a feminist champion and typical modern woman. She went after Donald Trump for his crude language on the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape after turning a blind eye to her husband’s outrageous behaviour for years.
As for Chelsea Clinton, there’s nothing I can really say about her. Probably because she hasn’t done or accomplished anything of any substance by herself. Oh well.
Where was Hillary’s gutsiness that night in 2012 when the US consulate was attacked in Benghazi which resulted in the deaths of four Americans while she was Secretary of State? After ignoring calls for increased security weeks beforehand, she retreated to the safety of her bed after the violence erupted.
This in contrast to Mrs Thatcher who just hours after surviving an IRA assassination attempt stood up and addressed the Tory party conference in Brighton with stoic resilience. I could go on but I think it’s clear to see who the real “gutsy” woman is.