Words Have No Meaning: The Margaret Thatcher Edition

I've often said on this blog that everything I know about movement conservatives, I learned from watching (and opposing) creationists. One major lesson is that words have no intrinsic meaning: they are simply means to manipulate people for your own goals. Well, Margaret Thatcher, an icon of anti-Communist opposition, admitted:

...the destabilisation of Eastern Europe and the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact were also not in the West's interests. She noted the huge changes happening across Eastern Europe, but she insisted that the West would not push for its decommunisation. Nor would it do anything to risk the security of the Soviet Union.

Even 20 years later, her remarks are likely to cause uproar. They are all the more explosive as she admitted that what she said was quite different from the West's public pronouncements and official Nato communiqués. She told Mr Gorbachev that he should pay no attention to these.

KTK at Lean Left gets at the heart of the matter:

Now, you can understand why England and France would be leery of a resurgent Germany. And it's welcome news that the winger dunderheads who spent their lives fighting past wars through a dense ideological fog may finally have glimpsed that knee-jerk anti-communism was neither meaningful nor helpful in the real world they occasionally noticed they were living in. But secretly selling out an official ally to the same communist country you built your entire career out of publicly demonizing, while personally assuring those very communists that you didn't really mean it - that your entire ideology and public persona were a shameless lie intended to deceive your own constituents, while you favored your nominal enemies with the truth - is rather low even by conservative standards.

Like I said, words as weapons (boldface mine; italics original):

And finally: everything else the right wing obsesses about is just the same. The same people who inherited Thatcher's and Bush's rhetoric and political party apparatus, the same people who still point to the Cold War that Thatcher and Bush were fighting on the other side as a mainstay of their own ideology today, are the same people now shouting "communism" about health reform, environmentalism, and religious freedom. They are the same people raving about "protecting marriage" and "the breakdown of the family". They are the same people who deny global warming, peak oil, and evolution. They are the same people still claiming they believe in market deregulation and supply-side economics. They are the same people gibbering about "Islamofascism", the "liberal media", "the Global War on Terror", and their bizarre, distorted version of feminism. None of it means anything. Nothing they say is worth believing, because truth is not an operative consideration in right-wing ideology. The ones who really believe the nonsensical rhetoric that spews out under these headings are the dupes of their own leaders and celebrity ranters. They think Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, and Ann Coulter are legitimate, in the same way "marks" used to think professional wrestling was legitimate (the difference is that, I'm told, there are no more real "marks" in the wrestling crowd). But the ones who do the shouting are the modern-day Margaret Thatchers - liars and hypocrites on a scale so mind-boggling it becomes its own Big Lie....Right-wing rhetoric, values, beliefs, and policy stances are as real and meaningful as Margaret Thatcher's anti-communism: they exist only to manipulate and energize the right-wing constituency, to provide power for enactment of entirely unrelated policies for entirely self-serving reasons. Thatcher may finally have done the world some good if only she succeeds in convincing her own supporters - who have for so long doted on her every word and deed - of this basic fact about herself and her kind.

Now can I have my peace dividend? (Remember that phrase?)

As the kids say, read the whole thing.


More like this

"She told Mr Gorbachev that he should pay no attention to these."

I dunno why I found this so funny, but upon reading it I imagined her picking up a phone and telling that to Gorbachev" and I started laughing out loud at my cubicle.

Maggie Thatcher also opposed the extradition of Pinochet from England, saying he had done so much for capitalism.!!!

The English upper classes, lest it be forgotten were very much in favor of an alliance with Hitler. It was largely because of the intransigence of Churchill they never did, but the upper classes were always outspoken about Mr. Hitler and his wonderful polices for labor unions and jews.

Maggie knew very well and understood that it is only the winners who write history, and you do and say whatever it takes.

By Roderick F. Mollison (not verified) on 12 Sep 2009 #permalink

Nothing surprises me about Maggie Thatcher.

By Mark Robertson (not verified) on 15 Sep 2009 #permalink