The Iron Lady: Those Crazy Conservatives

Posted: January 13, 2012 by John C. Kwasny, Ph.D. in Drama, True Story
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It’s certainly no secret that most of the Hollywood elite espouse a liberal political theology. You have to be a pretty amazing actor or actress to get regular work in that town if you are openly conservative! So, when you are watching films about political figures, it is essential to take into account that liberals will most likely be lionized while conservatives are demonized. This is clearly the case in the Margaret Thatcher bio-pic, The Iron Lady.

The movie is framed in the present day, with a dementia-suffering Thatcher looking back sadly on her life. She is repeatedly shown talking to herself, and not knowing that her husband is dead. Film critics debate over why the story is told this way. Maybe the director wanted to humanize Thatcher, making her a sympathetic figure to those who dislike her policies. Or maybe it’s to show that, no matter how powerful you are, we all succumb to the ravages of old age. I think the reason is much more political. Making Thatcher to look like a crazy old woman makes her adherence to conservative ideology understandable to liberals. In their worldview, the only explanation for someone to be a conservative is that they’re either crazy or just plain stupid!

If you’re old enough to remember, think about how the liberal media and politic machine portrayed Ronald Reagan when he was president. He was just a crazy old man, on the road to dementia as well. Why, he probably slept through all his cabinet meetings! Reagan’s memory was routinely made fun of, which made his conservative ideas easy to dismiss. More recently, George W. Bush was routinely the butt of jokes, focusing on his lack of intelligence to explain away his conservatism. Instead of directly debating conservative policies in the realm of ideas, it is an oft-used tactic to simply make the political figure appear to be half-crazy. To me, this is what is happening in the choice of storytelling used in The Iron Lady.

So, what’s the big deal? Conservatives regulalry dish out their own attacks on liberals, don’t they? Certainly. Partisanship is the nature of the beast. If you can make your rival look stupid or crazy, you will win a lot of people to your side. That’s politics!

But, consider that this same technique has been used by the enemies of Christ to explain away Christianity throughout history. The Apostle Paul was thought to be crazy by his Jewish adversaries. Our early church fathers were routinely persecuted by Rome, mocked for Christianity’s crazy beliefs. Luther and Calvin were (and still are) often depicted as nearly-insane. Modern evangelicals are regularly portrayed in the media as fanatical. Even Tim Tebow looks a bit crazy for his desire to publicly declare his love for Christ.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. There are some crazy Christians out there that have made Christianity look bad. I agree. But, they are just a small part of the problem. It is the deceiving work of Satan that blinds the eyes of unbelievers when they gaze upon Christians. Rather than truly consider the truths of the gospel, it is easier to write it off as crazy talk. Again, this has always been the case. Look at what the Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 1:18 (NIV): “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” And, again in 1 Corinthians 1:27 (ESV): “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…” It is only when the LORD opens our eyes do we stop thinking about the gospel of Jesus Christ as foolish and crazy, and see it as the power of God unto salvation!

The legacy of the Iron Lady speaks for itself, even if the liberal media wants to paint her as a crazy conservative. But, much more importantly, the cross of Jesus Christ stands as the only way to eternal life even if people think of Christians as crazy!

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