- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2012

For more than a decade, Tony’s columns graced these pages with tremendous insight and an abiding faith in God and in his adopted countrymen. My favorite is one he wrote just over a year ago titled “The American Miracle.” It expressed a sentiment that many understand but few could articulate so well - that America’s strength is grounded in its citizens’ persistent optimism and love of liberty. He wrote:

“For me, the miracle of the American spirit began to reveal itself in the late spring of 2009. We were still in the midst of an economic meltdown. … President Obama started applying the typical remedies: bailouts, nationalizations, trillion-dollar stimulus - spreading the wing of the state to ‘protect’ the helpless people. And then the American miracle occurred - not in Washington, but in the hearts and heads of the American people.”

The miracle, as he went on to say, was that we “feared the permanent loss of liberty more than the temporary loss of income or property.” Tony, who came to the United States as young immigrant and quickly embraced the promise this country had to offer, had hit upon one of our most essential qualities. So long as Americans are free to succeed on our own merits, we have eternal confidence in our ability to bounce back from adversity.

From Washington to Ohio, I found myself sharing his words with anyone who would listen - friends, family, business leaders, constituents and school groups. Several months later, Tony and I sat down over breakfast for the first and, unfortunately, the last time. He was humble, gracious and just as optimistic and insightful in person as he has always been on paper.

We were lucky to have him. Rest in peace, Tony.

Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, is chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

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