December 9, 2002
By Vice President Dick Cheney
I want to thank you, Ed. And thank you for that very warm
welcome, and thank the Heritage Foundation for inviting to this
very special meeting of the President's Club this evening. I want
to congratulate Heritage for the terrific work that you do to help
build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil
As a longtime participant in our political process, I do want to
say how much I appreciate -- and so many of my colleagues
appreciate -- the tremendous work that Heritage has done over the
years. And it's meant a great deal to us, especially when we come
back to government and need the push and the drive that
new ideas and new people give us. And Heritage has been a very
important part of that.
Building an America where opportunity, prosperity and civil society
flourish is not a job for the impatient or for the fainthearted. It
takes courage, determination, and brains, and an unwavering
commitment to principle.
All these virtues were embodied in the career of one of America's
greatest conservatives, Clare Boothe Luce. It is fitting that the
Heritage Foundation has chosen to name its highest award after her.
And it is equally fitting that you have chosen to present the Clare
Boothe Luce Award to Lady Margaret Thatcher. Whenever I think of
Margaret Thatcher, I can't help but recall the final lines from
Shakespeare's King John, "Naught shall make us rue if England to
itself do rest but true."
In the course of the 20th century there were many who sought to
make us rue the fundamental commitments of our civilization: our
commitments to limited government, to free markets, to democracy,
pluralism, and the rule of law. In the end, though, it was
freedom's enemies who were made to rue. And a good deal of the
credit for that happy outcome belongs to Lady Thatcher.
I have no doubt that historians will be analyzing Lady
Thatcher's achievements for years and decades and perhaps even
centuries to come. To me, however, what stands out about Lady
Thatcher's career is that she has always been true to England -- to
the values, the traditions and ideas that have enabled her small
island to play such a huge role in human events.
Like all great English men and women, Lady Thatcher has a
passionate love of freedom, a bone-deep contempt for tyrants, and a
willingness to do whatever is necessary to ensure freedom's
triumph. Lady Thatcher has also been blessed with the sturdy
British common sense to see through all of the high sounding
rationalizations and justifications for state control of the
economy, and to recognize socialism for what it is -- a recipe for
collective failure and national ruin.
Throughout her career, Lady Thatcher has always demonstrated a
bulldog-like British tenacity in standing by her convictions and
her friends -- not only when
times were good, but even and especially when the going got tough.
As she famously said of herself, "This lady is not for
This lady is, however, for honoring. And it is now my special
pleasure to read the Clare Boothe Luce Award citation in honor of
Lady Margaret Thatcher:
"When the 20th century is seen years hence through the long lens of
history, two defining themes will surely stand out: the clashes
between socialism and capitalism, and between totalitarianism and
democracy. When future generations learn how capitalism triumphed
over socialism, you will figure prominently in the story as a
"Political and economic freedom prevailed because of your political
leadership in Britain. And like that of your unfailing friend and
ally, Ronald Reagan, in America, it was guided not by consensus but
"In recognizing your courageous leadership in the face of great
opposition, we recall the words you spoke in tribute to Ronald
Reagan on his 80th birthday:
'It takes struggles in life to make strength. It takes fight for
principles to make fortitude. It takes crises to give courage. And
it takes singleness of purpose to reach an objective.'
"In that same spirit you paid that tribute to him, we pay it now to
you with profound gratitude for your character, for your special
friendship for the United States, and for your commitment to the
cause of freedom, the Heritage Foundation salutes Lady Margaret
Political and economic freedom prevailed because of MargaretThatcher's political leadership in Britain. And like that of herunfailing friend and ally, Ronald Reagan, in America, it was guidednot by consensus but by conviction.
Vice President Dick Cheney
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