Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Tony Snow, RIP

Tony Snow died today at the age of 53 following a long and courageous fight with cancer. President Bush called him a "man of character" in a statement today and noted the "great love of country" that Snow brought to his work and the joy that others derived from observing him at his work. Character, patriotism and a zeal for the activity of one’s life are all traits that endear because they point to a kind of fundamental gratitude for one’s gifts in this world. Gratitude, it seems to me, may be the starting place of every well-lived life--particularly when it becomes clear that this life, however wonderful, may be cut shorter than expected. I heard Snow interviewed many times and asked about his cancer and in those exchanges I don’t recall anything that even came close to resembling a whine or a lament. He talked of life and of his great loves: America, his family, and his calling. RIP, Tony Snow and God bless your family in their time of loss. It is a great loss, but then, the fact that the loss must be so great is a reminder that the gift of such a life is remarkable.

Discussions - 3 Comments

I knew he had cancer, didn't know the cancer was that far advanced.

He had metastatic colo-rectal cancer. The mets from CRC almost always go to the liver.

Snow's mother and another relative died from this disease, and Tony himself had a history of colitis (which raises the risk of CRC), so in fact he went through most of his too-short life knowing he had this Damoclean sword of fearsome illness and early mortality hanging over his head.

To me, the fact that he was such an ebullient, decent, and sunny person despite having to live with this burden only increases my regard for his fine character. May God rest his soul.


May I register a partial dissent. The elder President Bush praised Snow because he "never got angry." In my humble opinion, anyone in politics who never gets angry has a few missing pieces in his soul. There is a certain wisdom in the left-liberal saying: "If you're not outraged, you aren't paying attention." Tony was a good guy, definitely. The very best guy, an ideal model for the public man? I don't believe so. Being insouciant and calm at all times, as Tony Snow was, may make you tremendously popular and be good for your golf game, but so what? They do not "a man in full" make.

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