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Ilhan Omar reveals Margaret Thatcher inspired her to be a politician 


Ilhan Omar reveals Margaret Thatcher inspired her to be a politician because she believed she could ‘rise to predominance without help from men’

  • Omar in her 2020 book said Thatcher was the one person dead or alive she would most like to meet
  • ‘She was the only woman that I knew of who came to politics on her own,’ the Minnesota Democrat, who was born in Somalia, said 
  • Together with her close friend President Ronald Reagan, Thatcher made the 1980s a decade of conservatism


Rep. Ilhan Omar revealed that former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was actually the one who inspired her to get into politics. 

Omar first offered praise for the three-term conservative leader of Britain in her 2020 book, ‘This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman.’ She said Thatcher was the one person dead or alive she would most like to meet.

‘When I was growing up in an environment where women weren’t supposed to have a voice and weren’t supposed to be in politics the only women that rose to political predominance were women who were uplifted by a brother a father or a husband that had a political connection connection,’ the Minnesota Democrat explained of the curious admiration. 

Omar, pictured above with Rep. AOC, was born in Somalia before her family obtained refugee status in 1995, when she was 13 years old

‘She was the only woman that I knew of who came to politics on her own,’ Omar said ‘It was inspiring, really, to believe that I didn’t need my father or my brothers or my husband to be involved in politics.’  

Omar was born in Somalia before her family obtained refugee status in 1995, when she was 13 years old. The family arrived in New York before moving to Arlington, Va. and settling in Minneapolis, Minn. 

‘Whenever I am asked which famous person dead or alive I would want to meet if I could, my answer is always without fail Margaret Thatcher,’ she wrote. ‘It surprises people that the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party is my greatest shero. While her politics aren’t mine, she was also a first — the first female prime minister of Britain. Thatcher was a self-starter in the grandest of ways.’ 

Still, Omar told NPR in 2020: ‘She’s left a very dark mark in history.’ 

In 1979, Thatcher was appointed the United Kingdom’s first female prime minister. 

The Iron Lady was an advocate for individual freedom, privatization of the economy, curbing union power, trimming the social safety net and cutting regulations, priorities seemingly at odds with Democratic socialist Omar. 

In 1979, Thatcher was appointed the United Kingdom's first female prime minister

In 1979, Thatcher was appointed the United Kingdom’s first female prime minister

Together with her close friend President Ronald Reagan, Thatcher made the 1980s a decade of conservatism

Together with her close friend President Ronald Reagan, Thatcher made the 1980s a decade of conservatism

Together with her close friend President Ronald Reagan, Thatcher made the 1980s a decade of conservatism. 

Omar, meanwhile, advocates for vast expansion of social spending, such as the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, free college and universal basic income. 

In a 1976 interview, Thatcher said of socialism: 

‘Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.’

She said of conservatism: ‘It’s part of our fundamental belief giving the people more choice to spend their own money in their own way.’

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