Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Ilhan Omar Calls Margaret Thatcher “Inspirational”

The progressive Democrat, Ilhan Omar, has referred to the former prime minister of the UK as a hero. This is liberal feminism in a nutshell.

Nathaniel Flakin

May 27, 2020
Facebook Twitter Share

Ilhan Omar, a U.S. Representative from Minnesota, is one of the most progressive members of Congress. With her denunciations of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East and Latin America, she is often considered the most radical member of “The Squad” of four progressive congresswomen.

But in a recent interview with NPR, the Democrat surprised listeners by expressing her admiration for Margartet Thatcher, who was prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. Omar said:

It’s interesting, right? Oftentimes, we’re told who our heroes can be. And for me, I find it to be inspirational for a woman, when there were really no other women around who were leading, to say, “I can do this.” And I think as I think about my own journey, dealing with the ideas that many within my own community had about, “a boy should be the first.” I needed to have sort of an inspiration, and obviously, she’s left a very dark mark in history. But we can’t take away how inspirationally bold she was to believe that she can lead as a woman in her time.

Yes, Thatcher was a trailblazer. But not because of her gender.

Alongside Ronald Reagan in the United States, Thatcher led a worldwide offensive against the working class. Her program of social cuts, privatizations, and lowering taxes for the rich is commonly known as neoliberalism. With her year-long fight against the National Union of Mineworkers, she was able to break the backbone of the workers’ movement in Britain.

Working-class people in the UK still refer to her as “Milk Snatcher” for her attempts to remove free milk from schools.

Thatcher was also a warmonger. Her war against Argentina in 1982 served to reestablish imperialist hegemony around the world. Thatcher intensified Britain’s dirty war in Northern Ireland. In 1981, Irish political prisoners started a hunger strike demanding political status, and Thatcher stood by while ten of them withered away. Bobby Sands was elected a member of parliament while on hunger strike, shortly before his death.

The comedian Eric André had a better take in an interview with Mel B from the Spice Girls: 

Do you think Margaret Thatcher had girl power? Do you think she effectively utilized girl power by funneling money into illegal paramilitary death squads in Northern Ireland?

Starting in 1968, working-class and oppressed people around the world carried out revolutionary struggles against the capitalists in the West and the bureaucrats running the degenerated workers’ states in the East. Thatcher was one of the main leaders of the bourgeoisie’s counter-offensive.

Her legacy is one of greater misery for working people around the world, and especially women. Thatcher’s cuts to the National Health System are still felt today, as thousands are dying of the Covid-19 pandemic in Great Britain and hospitals are overwhelmed. It is no surprise that workers celebrated her death.

So what, exactly, does Ihan Omar find inspirational? This is liberal feminism in a nutshell: If capitalism means that just eight people own more wealth than half of humanity, then liberals want half of those eight people to be women. Liberals are fine with supporting a system based on exploitation and oppression as long as a few representatives of the oppressed are allowed into the pinnacles of power.

That is why it is no surprise that Omar has come out in support of Joe Biden, who is not only known as a sexual abuser but also as a zealous neoliberal politician responsible for throwing millions of working people into bankruptcy and millions of Black and Brown people into prison. “The Squad,” for all their left-wing posturing, are reliable members of the Democratic Party, one of the oldest capitalist parties in the world. Real socialists fight for working-class people to organize independently of the ruling class.

Facebook Twitter Share

Nathaniel Flakin

Nathaniel is a freelance journalist and historian from Berlin. He is on the editorial board of Left Voice and our German sister site Klasse Gegen Klasse. Nathaniel, also known by the nickname Wladek, has written a biography of Martin Monath, a Trotskyist resistance fighter in France during World War II, which has appeared in German, in English, and in French. He is on the autism spectrum.

Instagram

United States

A horizontal testing scantron with almost all of the bubbles filled in

The Changes to AP African American Studies Are “Absolutely Political”: A Former College Board Worker Speaks Out

A former College Board worker explains how the company's "apolitical" pedagogical approaches privilege right wing ideas, even as the right wing accuses them of spreading "wokeism."

Jess DuBois

February 4, 2023

Massive Looting of Public Resources at Stake in District Detroit Redevelopment Scheme

Billionaire developers in Detroit have proposed capturing almost one billion dollars in public money to fund their newest project. The deal is far from sealed, but organized community opposition will be necessary to prevent approvals from sailing through.

Rita Singer

February 3, 2023

In Standoff Over Cop City, Police Are the Real Terrorists

For over two years, the protests and occupations against a police training center in Atlanta, Georgia flew under the radar of the mainstream press. Now, after the police murder of land defender Manuel Teran and the arrest of 19 protesters on charges of domestic terrorism, the standoff has gained national attention. But in the battle to defend the Weelaunee Forest and the people of Atlanta from the development of the massive “Cop City” training center, it is the Atlanta Police Department and the state that have been acting like terrorists.

James Dennis Hoff

January 27, 2023

Say His Name! Justice for Tyre Nichols

As the video footage of the police murder of Tyre Nichols is released today, it will be important for everyone who is against police violence to stand in solidarity and defend and join in the mobilizations demanding justice for his murder.

Tristan Taylor

January 27, 2023

MOST RECENT

The Strike Is Our Most Powerful Weapon, We Need to Use It against the Police!

Workers have the opportunity and ability to shut down the system. This is why Democrats, Republicans, and even the Squad broke the strike of the railroad workers. If we use our workplaces as organizing tools against racism and police murder, we can build the power to take control and shut them down! 

Julia Wallace

February 3, 2023

Dispatches from the Picket Lines: All Out for the Temple Graduate Workers Strike

A Temple faculty member reports.

Jason Koslowski

February 3, 2023

British ‘Mega Strike’: Half a Million Workers Bring UK to a Halt and Protest Government

Over half a million workers in the UK went on strike on February 1 to protest the Conservative government and demand higher wages.

Diego Sacchi

February 2, 2023

New York Nurses’ Strike Shows the Way Forward for Labor

Over 7,000 nurses struck at New York hospitals for three days, winning important partial gains. Despite attempts to avert the strike by the hospital bosses, Democratic Party politicians, and elements within the leadership of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), the bargaining committees of two major hospitals held strong.

Thaddeus Greene

February 2, 2023