At last night's Democratic convention, Cristina Saralegui, formerly of the Spanish-language station Univision, spoke. Early in her speech, she made the following comment:
I was 12 years old when, like so many cubanos, my parents fled the Castro regime. For us, America meant freedom.
Her comment was greeted with almost total silence.
On the other hand, many Republicans would probably have cheered, because they have traditionally done so, when someone escapes, or announces that she has escaped, from Cuba. It's just that Republicans don't seem to want them to escape to the United States any more.
Let's count the ironies:
1. Democrats tend to want more open immigration than Republicans. But Democrats at the convention didn't seem enthused about why this particular woman became an immigrant, even though, in most people's judgment, escaping from a totalitarian regime is a really good motive.
2. Republicans tend to want people to escape from totalitarian regimes. They just are increasingly reluctant to let them in.
3. Ms. Saralegui, though seeming to favor immigration and not making a clear distinction between legal and illegal immigration, gave a speech in favor of a man, Barack Obama, who has deported record numbers of illegal immigrants.
Now, it's possible that Ms. Saralegui favors deporting illegal immigrants who have committed non-immigration crimes, the group that Obama has focused on. So this third might not be clearly an irony. Also, of course, she could believe that Obama's policy is awful and that Romney's policy is more awful. Me, while I can imagine voting for someone who is less awful than someone else--I do it all the time--I can't imagine speaking passionately in front of millions of people in favor of someone who is awful but just less awful than someone else.