Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former President Ronald Reagan were bookends to an era of great Western leadership that began with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, a prominent Reagan biographer told Newsmax.
“We live in an era of diminished public figures,” said Craig Shirley, president and CEO of the public relations firm Shirley & Banister Public Affairs. “Thatcher represents the last of an era of giants in world history.” Thatcher died on Monday at 87 years old after suffering a stroke.
Shirley said that Thatcher and Reagan met in 1975, when she was a backbencher in the British Parliament and he was closing out his second term as governor of California.
The thinking among academics and elitists, Shirley said, was that collectivism and managed economies were the wave of the future and Western conservatism was on the run. Both Reagan and Thatcher fought for a future of limited government and free markets, which led to a mutual admiration.
“They found themselves to be kindred soul mates, if not lonely ones,” Shirley said. “She once described him as the second-most important man in her life, and he described her as the strongest man in Great Britain.”
Their friendship led to a constant stream of communications between them that lasted after both of them left office.
Shirley said that Thatcher was the first foreign dignitary to visit the White House when Reagan became president and the last to visit in 1989 at the end of his second term.
“That’s the bookend of the last of America’s and Great Britain’s great leaders,” Shirley said.
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