American Conservatives Should Take Lesson from Brits

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, August 24, 2001

American Conservatives Should Take Lesson from Brits

Here in the United Kingdom, a battle royal has broken out between former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and forces loyal to her and her conservative standards, and former Prime Minister John Major, who succeeded Thatcher after she was forced from power by a bunch of moderates in her own party.

The issue is who will be the new chairman of the conservative party. Moderates claim Thatcherism is dead and that the conservatives must reach out to moderates if they are to win the next election. Sound familiar?

The name-calling is incredible. It would be as if former President George Bush started berating Ronald Reagan.

The real problem is that a bunch of ideologically weak men are still threatened by a tough conservative woman. They never liked her because she made them appear indecisive. They were and she did.

If conservatives can't win elections, how do the so-called moderates explain Thatcher's 10-year hold on power and Ronald Reagan's eight years? Of course they can win elections, but they have to know what they believe and then persuade voters to elect them. The bloodletting here is incredible. If it doesn't stop, the conservatives will lose again. Let's hope American conservatives don't repeat the mistake of English conservatives. From Northern Ireland, I'm Cal Thomas.