Thatcher Biographer Berlinski Shines a Light on the Right Wing's Extremist Views on the Economy
The Heritage Foundation hosted author and Margaret Thatcher biographer Claire Berlinski, who discussed her book There is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters on C-SPAN’s Book TV, which aired over the weekend there. Here’s the description of the segment from C-SPAN:
Claire Berlinski argues that Margaret Thatcher deserves credit for reversing Great Britain's decline in the world during the 1970s. Ms. Berlinski says that Prime Minister Thatcher was instrumental in turning around the country's economy and saving it from socialism. This talk was hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
The reason I decided to share some of this is because, one, Newt Gingrich loves her and thinks everyone should read her book, and second, even though Newt Gingrich deserves to be ignored by our corporate media, they keep putting him on the air, mainly at Fox, but even after he says something ridiculous at Fox the rest of them feel compelled to report on it as though it’s news, and last but not least because this woman’s extreme views are considered mainstream by the people in these right-wing think tanks that are pushing the policies of the Republican Party.
She says out loud here a lot of things that most Republicans would not dare say either on the air or on the record to a reporter, but what she expresses here goes straight to the heart of the conservative world view and what they have imposed and would like to continue imposing on the United States if they regain power this mid-term election.
I’m not going to take the time to transcribe all of this by any means, but wanted to at least transcribe a bit of it for those who might not be able to watch the video.
Berlinski: Before I talk about the points of analogy, I do want to talk the obvious of dis-analogy. The United States is not now facing a massive problem with inflation. Not now, not yet. And we are not… the economic debate is not focused around our trade unions. Our trade unions are not running the show. So when I discuss this document I want you to mentally substitute what I think are the analogous points.
Stimulus spending, for trade unions… okay? And benefits programs for… for um… nationalizing industries. And the reason I’m going to suggest those are points of analogy are because we’re talking about ways that the government is controlling the economy.
Will everyone go along with me that far? Will everyone agree to accept that we can just mentally substitute that when I read from this document… okay?
So there’s your first bit of claptrap from this woman. Trade unions = stimulus spending. And “benefits programs”, aka welfare, Social Security, Medicaid, etc. = the government having too much control over the “free markets”. And Margaret Thatcher’s Great Britain and their form of government and the strength of the unions in Great Britain during Thatcher's time is somehow comparable to the United States today where union membership has declined terribly over the last thirty years, thanks to Thatcher’s buddy Ronald Reagan.
I’m sure Berlinski is fully aware of this which is why she feels the need to make this bulls**t ridiculous analogy as to what’s going on in the U.S. today and pretend like what Reagan did to the unions in the United States never happened or to at least ignore it for the purpose of her narrative
And it gets worse from there. More of the really infuriating stuff below the fold.
Earlier in the interview she made sure to let the audience know how ridiculous it was for anyone to consider conservatives just greedy uncaring people who don’t care about the poor, but then contradicted that with her own words during the speech.
Berlinski: This is the low hanging fruit of the next election. If there’s anyone in their districts who doesn’t know what exactly they stand for in their words, their opponents deserve to lose. I mean this is easy… low hanging fruit… okay? I’m coming to the really important part.
The socialism he says, it must be explained to the electorate, the socialism leads to a sick society, which is materially impoverished, dishonest, stupid, arbitrary, unfair and finally frightened, so that it’s pitied as childish and backwards, rather than respected by other countries.
Spell out Clause 4. This is what they’re determined get in the end. In order to attack the adversary one must first identify his weak points or his critical links, he writes. He writes that for the Labor Party this is their… this obviously their relationship with the unions.
For the Democratic Party, it’s obviously the relationship with the health care bill… the health care and stimulus spending. We all know that that’s… that that’s the weak part. But the case has not been made sufficiently that it’s not just that this is bad legislation, it’s not just that it’s not going to work economically, it’s that it’s immoral.
It’s immoral. You’re taking money away from people who earned it and giving it to people who haven’t and you’re going to create a society of people who have no incentive to do anything with their lives, are incapable of making personal economic choices, who are not self sufficient, who are whining, weak, flabby loafers. That’s what you’re going to do. You’re stealing from people for people who haven’t earned it.
There is nothing wrong with the impulse to want to take care of the weak and the sick and the poor, but you have to have a wealthy productive free market to do it first.
So all of you lazy whining slackers who don't have jobs out there, that free market of hers she loves so much is going to take care of you, so quit complaining and get off your dead asses and get a job! I'd love for this woman to have to spend a few days actually living the life of a laid off worker in the United States instead of drawing her wingnut welfare for putting out this sort of propaganda.
I guess if we want to solve our employment problems in the United States all of us should just start writing fact free books praising Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and those wingnut welfare checks can start rolling in for the rest of us as well. Problem solved.
If you've got the stomach for the rest of the speech at Heritage, C-SPAN has it up at their web site here.
There's a whole lot more there and in the video I included for the post that this woman deserves to be taken apart for. I don't think I've heard anything more openly condescending and full of disdain for the working class in a long, long time.
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