That very optimism is uniquely American. It's what brought us to America. We're a nation of immigrants, we're the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life. The driven ones. The ones who woke up at night, hearing that voice telling them that life in a place called America could be better.
Of course, he wasn't referring to recent immigrants, who come especially from Latin America and Asia (although he did toss off a passing reference to Cubans). Rather, it was clear that he was thinking back to past immigration from Europe. Indeed, MSNBC's Chuck Todd echoed my sentiments completely with his tweet that:
I feel like the theme of this speech is "optimistic nostalgia"
At the same time, even as I was contemplating this nostalgia on the part of the Republicans, I was drawn back to the fact that the Obama Administration has deported more immigrants than did the Bush Administration. We like to think about being a nation of immigrants, but we seem to be a little unsure about how the concept.