We soon found that although we represented two opposing alliances and ideologies, we could engage in a real political dialogue on the most critical issues. We argued and we disagreed. But we had joined the dialogue. And that, in and of itself, was important – for the confrontation had reached a dangerous point. On many issues, our outlook was different, but the need to look for a way out was clear to both of us.
Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the USSR (1985-1991)

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s “Iron Lady,” died Monday at the age of 87. America mourned, and apparently the British have no idea what it is they’ve lost.

Excuse me while I hold my head in my hands and weep for the people who don’t understand where we’re all coming from with our Thatcher-worship.

The thing is, though, it’s not worship; it’s admiration. Admiration for a woman who lived her life with great purpose. For far too long, the American people have settled for “good enough.” We don’t expect great purpose anymore, because we have been told that it is impossible. Instead, we’ve been served up and endless parade of compromise, equivocation, and backpedaling, and been told that this is the best we can possibly expect from our elected representatives.

We need more Lady Thatchers in our lives. We need more politicians and representatives and people with big megaphones who aren’t afraid to stand up and give the world hell. We’re getting closer: we have people like Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, who are willing to put their credibility and careers on the line in the name of freedom–but I want more. Three rogue Senators is not good enough for me, and it’s not good enough for the American people. Senate Minority Leader McConnell is prepared to filibuster the Reid Gun Control Bill, and we as conservatives should do everything we can to support Senator McConnell and all the other senators prepared to fight against this destructive piece of legislation. I’ve seen a lot of chatter on Twitter skeptical of this latest move by the leadership, and while I think that criticism is fair, I can’t for the life of me figure out why conservative activists aren’t wearing out their keyboards with words of encouragement for these men.

There will never be another Lady Thatcher, but how do you expect to find your next great inspiration if you refuse to encourage those who are brave enough to stick their toe in the deep end? The current conservative climate doesn’t inspire that kind of bravery. In fact, it doesn’t seem to inspire much of anything apart from a series of columns bitching about efforts to reach beyond the counterproductive echo chamber we’ve created for ourselves.

Margaret Thatcher was more than just a politician; she was the embodiment of guts and glory. She helped save her country from the ravages of socialism and the despair of complete economic collapse–and she did it without the permission of the progressive horde. To her, being mocked and hated was worth it if it meant that in the end, freedom would triumph. When we see these traits displayed in others, our first reaction shouldn’t be snark–it should be encouragement. If we aren’t willing to take the time to encourage bravery in our leaders, we might as well quit now.

Remember Margaret Thatcher not only for who she was, but for the potential she has inspired and will inspire in our future leaders. Remember that the legacy she crafted for herself came at great personal cost, and under the influence of uncommon courage. She didn’t just speak out against the “progressives”–she publicly burned them. She wasn’t afraid to call out media bias. She wasn’t afraid to say “No!”

Oh, and she totally used the “Dead Parrot” sketch to slam liberals. And kept a straight face the whole time.

Rest in peace, Lady Thatcher. You were one in a million.

Amy Miller lives and works in Austin, Texas.