Guerrero: How to Fight White Supremacy by Inverting Stephen Miller’s Playbook

Not a bad list, one that can be applied more broadly than in the USA (as is already happening in Canada to an extent):

Former Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Miller played a significant role in mainstreaming white supremacy over the past five years, promoting virulently racist literature, organizing anti-immigrant round tables, crafting Trump’s most xenophobic speeches, and strangling legal pathways into the United States for nonwhite people.

He is continuing his white nationalist campaign through frequent guest appearances on Fox News, hawking the dangerous delusion of anti-white racism. And through his nonprofit, “America First Legal,” he is attacking the Biden administration’s small steps toward building a humane immigration system and a more equitable society, including efforts to diversify schools. President Joe Biden has been reluctant to scale back many of Trump’s white nationalist immigration policies as Republicans attack him in hysteria-inducing language Miller helped normalize, casting Biden as an “open borders” president responsible for an imagined “Third World invasion.”

What Biden’s team must understand is that the radicalized Republican Party is going to use immigration to attack him regardless of what he does. “Bottom line: the less Biden talks about the border, the more the GOP must,” Miller tweeted on April 29. The only way to neutralize this weaponization of immigration and to illuminate the threat of nativists’ war on brown and Black people is not through inaction on the Southwest border or a more intense crackdown (the Obama administration revealed the futility of that strategy), but rather to radically reframe the national conversation about immigration by inverting Miller’s playbook, which I document in my biography Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda.

Opponents of white supremacy, xenophobia, and racism must wrest control of the immigration debate from hatemongers, or else the immigration reform bill in Congress is doomed to fail, Democrats will lose the midterms elections, and white extremism will continue to spread, further endangering people’s lives and democracy. What follows is a handbook for how Biden’s team, lawmakers, journalists, and other public figures can co-opt Miller’s strategies to fight the spread of hate.

  1. Use vivid, visceral anecdotes about immigrants’ contributions to the United States in speeches, press releases, news articles, interviews, and more. One of Miller’s favorite techniques was to insert graphic descriptions of alleged migrant crimes into Trump’s speeches and documents. In Trump’s 2015 immigration plan, he described an “illegal” immigrant “breaking into a 64-year-old woman’s home, crushing her skull and eye sockets with a hammer, raping her, and murdering her.” The incident reappeared in a Trump speech. He repeatedly exploited the tragic death of Kate Steinle, and pressured the Department of Homeland Security to inundate the public with press releases about immigrant crimes, manufacturing the false impression that brown and Black foreigners commit more crimes than the native born. The demonization can be countered by highlighting much more common examples of immigrants contributing to the United States., while being careful not to caricature immigrants as superhumanly heroic or hardworking, which is dehumanizing in a different way. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas should issue press releases about acts of immigrant heroism as reminders of the full humanity and positive impact of immigrants, particularly nonwhite ones without legal status. Julia Ainsley’s 2020 NBC story, “Immigrant workers on Covid frontlines risk deportation to help save lives,” or the 2017 Univision story by Fernando Peinado and Anna Spelman, “The undocumented heroes never mentioned by Donald Trump,” are good examples.
  2. Hold press conferences, roundtables, and other reality-TV-style events that celebrate and inform about the above immigrant contributions to US national security, health, and the economy, while sharing accurate statistics. In the White House, Miller repeatedly helped organize anti-immigrant round tables, press briefings, and other streamed events in collaboration with law enforcement and lawmakers that cast immigrants as welfare-guzzling, diseased, and violent “animals,” including through the use of falsified statistics. It’s an old playbook that has been used time and again in the United States, notably with the vilification of Chinese immigrants in the 19th century: Spread falsehoods about unwanted foreigners bringing crime and illness, simultaneously stealing jobs, and draining public resources. Public figures should organize compelling events that inform about the true value of immigrants to public safety, health, and prosperity in partnership with law enforcement officers, lawmakers, and high-profile medical institutions and more. They should be entertaining, enlightening, and streamed to wide and diverse audiences.
  3. Promote literature, websites, and think tanks that center immigrants and refugees and depict them as they really are. Our storytelling industries, from publishing to media and entertainment, are still disproportionately white and male, resulting in a society with a seemingly bottomless capacity to empathize with white antiheroes, while dehumanizing complex brown and Black people. In 2016, Stephen Miller urged allies at Breitbart to promote the white supremacist dystopian book The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail. Breitbart blogger Julia Hahn published an ode to the book, which tells of the destruction of the white world by brown refugee “monsters.” Demand for the book has sinceskyrocketed. Miller also recommended that Breitbartsource material from American Renaissance and VDare, white nationalist websites. He pulled policies from anti-immigrant think tanks funded by racist heiress Cordelia Scaife May in collaboration with white supremacist John Tanton, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which was designated as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Public figures should counter white supremacist propaganda by promoting literature and other content that conveys the truth about immigrants, such as Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s The Undocumented Americans and Reyna Grande’s The Distance Between Us. Remezcla has a list of the best books by Latin American authors that center the immigrant experience. The Center for American Progress and Migration Policy Institute are nonpartisan, and their websites can serve as resources for facts to counter anti-immigrant propaganda.
  4. Call anti-immigrant rhetoric what it is: a tactic of largely white elites to distract from the real problems they created for working people of all colors. At a 2016 Trump rally, Miller spoke of elites looking “down from their glass window condominiums at all of you,” before returning to his glass-window condominium. Anti-immigrant propagandists like Miller are elitists who politicize immigration to distract from their elitism and from policies and treaties that protect and expand their privileges. Trump bashed NAFTA as a “disaster” for American manufacturing workers, claiming that Mexico had been “spoiled” by the treaty, which had in fact displaced millions of Mexican farmworkers and devastated the southern country’s rural sector. During his administration, Trump used the anger he’d whipped up against the treaty to update it and change its name, not eliminate it, let alone address its biggest problems. Our nation’s storytellers, from Hollywood to Washington, must resist and expose attempts to use immigration to splinter working-class communities while enriching largely white male elites, often from both political parties.
  5. Forge alliances with other people in positions of power to accomplish the above goals and, crucially, to inspire hope. Miller’s mentor David Horowitz advocated stoking fear rather than hope. “Fear is a much stronger and more compelling emotion,” he wrote in a strategy paper that referenced the political utility of hate and other negative feelings, and encouraged Republicans to demonize their opponents. Miller forged strategic alliances with the right-wing site Breitbart and provocateurs such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, who recently endorsed a white supremacist conspiracy theory on air, to spread anti-immigrant and anti-liberal hate. From the time Miller was a teenager calling into The Larry Elder Showrailing against multiculturalism, he was cultivating relationships with powerful people to peddle hate. The opponents of hate must believe in hope, and leverage it in collaboration with one another. Part of leveraging that hope is embracing the reality that most extremists aren’t innately evil or cruel. While they pose a very real threat to national security, their reasons for being radicalized often aren’t simple. Some are vulnerable, isolated individuals dealing with trauma and other mental health issues. Sociopaths and swindlers manipulate them, giving them a false sense of purpose and meaning in the form of a scapegoat. Not all are irredeemable, demonstrated by the case of former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh, who was radicalized by Miller before realizing she had joined a dangerous movement. Some can be coaxed out slowly, with empathy, because we are stronger with people who have seen the light on our team.

Source: How to Fight White Supremacy by Inverting Stephen Miller’s Playbook

The Cesspool That Gave Rise to Stephen Miller

More background on some of the more prominent anti-immigration advocates:

Last August, the conservative writer David Horowitz, who mentored Trump’s former senior adviser Stephen Miller, emailed me. Subject: “Your book.” He wrote, “I was more than generous with you, and you repaid me by raping me and my reputation, which I assure you will survive your malicious drivel.”

The 82-year-old former Marxist was referring to my biography, Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda, which drew in part from email exchanges Horowitz had forwarded to me, showing conversations with Miller between 2012 and 2017, including those with him feeding Miller talking points for some of Trump’s most incendiary campaign speeches, which the reality TV mogul regurgitated. Horowitz met Miller as a Santa Monica high school student and shaped his career, introducing him to Tea Party Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachman, who gave him his first job as a press secretary, and later to then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who also hired him.

Horowitz had previously told me he was trusting me with his correspondence because he read a 2018 interview in which I discussed my aversion to labeling people: “When you label someone, you do violence to them.” He said he feared being labeled a “hatemonger,” a word that had been used to describe him, and believed I was unlikely to label him or Miller. It was a strange argument given that Horowitz has dedicated much of his life to labeling entire groups, calling the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) “fascists” and progressives “totalitarians.” After my book was published, he featured me as the top article on his site, calling me “an anti-American racist,” and in a separate email, called me “stupid, lazy or deranged.”

Horowitz’s art is projection, which he teaches to his disciples. People fighting racism are “Nazis.” Activists fighting inequality are “oppressors.” Classified as an anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, he has for decades groomed young conservatives to adopt an incendiary, extremist approach through his “School for Political Warfare,” and connected prominent right-wing politicians and media personalities at expensive West Coast Retreats and Restoration Weekends. “The political left has declared war on America and its constitutional system, and is willing to collaborate with America’s enemies abroad and criminals at home to bring America down,” reads the mission statement for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Now, two writers who have known Horowitz for half a century, Ronald Radosh and Sol Stern, have written a piece in The New Republic calling for an investigation into his nonprofit’s “potential abuse of its tax-exempt status.” Per the Internal Revenue Code: “All section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate.” They recount Horowitz’s visits to a “psychic healer” and his “relentless drive toward the violent fringes.” As a radical leftist, they added, their former friend “celebrated the burning of a bank by a student mob. Today, he’s an intellectual pyromaniac who honors the MAGA mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6.”

In a strategy paper Horowitz emailed Miller in December 2012, as the Republican Party was publicly reckoning with its failure to appeal to communities of color, Horowitz called for Republicans to launch a campaign of fear. He later said they “must begin every confrontation by punching progressives in the mouth.” His drive to intimidate and terrorize has compelled him to threaten lawsuits against reporters, including me, accusing me of “malicious and defamatory statements” in a letter from his lawyer that closely resembled those he has sent to others. It’s an echo of how he spent the ’90s, coordinating lawyers to threaten legal action on behalf of people accused of bigotry.

Horowitz, who casts himself as colorblind, has tweeted content such as “The Most Dangerous Social Problem in America Today: Anti-White racism,” and attacks women of color in positions of power, saying of Rep. Ilhan Omar, “This witch is part of a terrorist network… should be deported now.” He denies Palestinians their national identity. “There is no Palestine, there are no Palestinians,” he has tweeted.

His tirades caught the attention of John Tanton, an influential white supremacist who published an English translation of the virulently racist French novel Camp of the Saints—which describes the destruction of the white world by brown refugee “monsters,” a book that Miller recommended to Breitbart for an article pointing out its “parallels” with real life. Tanton, who died in 2019, featuredHorowitz on his website and highlighted his work through his journal, The Social Contract. He also wrote him and his colleague Peter Collier at least one letter, which The Daily Beast is reporting on here for the first time and is housed in the partially sealed archive of Tanton’s papers at the University of Michigan. In the letter, obtained from Virginia attorney Hassan Ahmad—who is suingto unseal the entire archive—Tanton rants about gay men and HIV and muses bizarrely about the rectum as “an ideal cultural medium: it is wet; its (sic) warm, it is chock full of nutrients, and has a rich blood supply to provide oxygen for those (aerobic) organisms that need this nutrient.” Horowitz did not respond to requests for comment about Tanton or the nature of their relationship, if any.

Tanton also shared Horowitz’s work with Dan Stein, the head of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which Tanton created with heiress Cordelia Scaife May to restrict the flow of brown and Black immigrants into the United States. Tanton wrote separately, “As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?” Later, in the White House, Horowitz’s protégé Miller would implement restrictive immigration policies that echoed recommendations issued by FAIR almost verbatim, including limiting family-based legal immigration and attacking sanctuary jurisdictions.

What people like Horowitz and Miller believe, although Miller is careful to phrase it differently, is that white men make America great. White European males created “America’s unique political culture… [which] led the world in abolishing slavery and establishing the principles of ethnic and racial inclusion,” Horowitz wrote in his book Hating Whitey, ignoring the central role of racialized people in the civil rights movement. “We are a nation besieged by peoples ‘of color’ trying to immigrate to our shores to take advantage of the unparalleled opportunities and rights our society offers them.”

It’s a view that has become mainstream in the radicalized Republican Party, which has surrendered to its once-fringe white supremacists. Miller’s recently launched nonprofit, America’s First Legal (White Men First Legal), is attacking efforts to help immigrants, non-white U.S. workers and the LGBTQ community. Soon it will be women. He is Horowitz 2.0, more powerful than his mentor, leading a full-fledged assault on the teaching of critical race theory and diversity in schools through litigation and regular appearances on Fox News and other right-wing media. People must understand the man who made him, who helped forge our era’s banality of extremism.

Horowitz was right when he guessed that I would be reluctant to label him or Miller a “hatemonger.” I’ve seen firsthand the damage that labels have done to people I love, such as my father, who immigrated here from Mexico. But I also believe journalists have a responsibility to use accurate words to describe the actions of people in power. Horowitz and Miller not only made careers of hatemongering—they’ve made it a centerpiece of modern right-wing ideology.

Source: The Cesspool That Gave Rise to Stephen Miller

Commentary: The Claremont Institute and Trump’s Politics of White Fear

More useful background on the anti-immigration zealots:

An hour east of Hollywood, where America’s cultural fetish for stories of apocalypse and antiheroes is made, the Claremont Institute lies in a nondescript beige building in the Pomona Valley. Created in 1979 to educate a new generation of conservative leaders through the study and reinterpretation of the American founding, the think tank has long peddled dystopian delusions, including that the U.S. faces an existential threat from a “Third World” invasion; that diversity “dissolves” the country’s unity; and that the many-headed monster of “wokeness,” “identity politics,” and “multiculturalism” seeks to “destroy the American way of life.”

“The mission of the Claremont Institute is to save Western civilization,” buttoned-up president Ryan Williams, who has been with the institute since 2005, declares in a welcome video on the Claremont’s YouTube page. “We’ve always aimed high.”

The institute was founded by students of the political scientist Harry Jaffa, who in the 1960s helped radicalize the Republican Party through his participation in the presidential campaign of the right-wing zealot Barry Goldwater, writing the lines of his acceptance speech at the 1964 Republican National Convention: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” Jaffa was a prolific author and scholar of Abraham Lincoln and other founders. He likened “political correctness” to Leninism and Stalinism.

The Claremont Institute, which has no affiliation with the Claremont colleges, publishes the Claremont Review of Books and awards fellowships to applicants interested in studying the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other founding documents. Last year, it awarded a fellowship to Jack Posobiec, a Pizzagate conspiracy theorist with ties to neo-fascist groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The institute teaches and publishes new takes on America’s founding that whitewash history, insisting that the country was never racist and that those who argue otherwise seek to annihilate the United States. The mission statement says it seeks to “restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.” Its scholars launder white supremacist ideas through the language of heritage and the self-aware performance of erudition.

Most recently, Claremont Institute helped perpetuate the racist birther lie that Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris isn’t a legitimate American citizen. Senior fellow John C. Eastman wrote the debunked article in Newsweekquestioning Harris’s citizenship with his tortured reading of the Constitution. The institute has long challenged birthright citizenship, which is enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment. Newsweek editors have since apologized for the op-ed, albeit after saying it had “nothing to do with racist birtherism.” Notably, Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer is a former fellow of the institute. Trump refused to condemn the birther lie, calling Eastman “brilliant” and saying he won’t be “pursuing” the theory but adding, “You would’ve thought [Harris] would’ve been vetted by Sleepy Joe.”

It is no accident that the white supremacist fantasies buttressing Trump’s reelection campaign were born in Los Angeles County. The region gave us Trump’s chief advisor and top speechwriter, Stephen Miller, whose parents have donated to the Claremont Institute and whose indoctrination in white supremacist ideas I report on in my book Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda. Miller’s father Michael is a former Democrat who veered right in his politics after troubles with his real estate company led him to complain of the “ridiculous liberal elite” and their intrusion into his personal and business affairs, according to his brother-in-law David Glosser and others who knew him. He complained that universities were all controlled by left-wing extremists, a view espoused by the Claremont Institute.

California revealed the political utility of white fear for the state’s Republican Party in the ‘90s of Miller’s youth, when non-Hispanic white people became a minority in the state, triggering a backlash with bipartisan attacks on bilingual education, affirmative action and more. In 1994, deeply unpopular Republican Governor Pete Wilson won reelection by blaming all of the state’s problems on a migrant “invasion.” Proposition 187, launched that year in Orange County by people fearing a “Third World” takeover, targeted social services for undocumented migrants, including public school for migrant children. (The prop was later found unconstitutional).

In his 1996 book The Coming White Minority, Dale Maharidge—a professor of journalism at Columbia University—predicted of California: “The depth of white fear is underestimated … these anxieties will blow east like a bad Pacific storm as whites are outnumbered in other parts of the country.”

The wind that blew the white fear east came from think tanks like the Claremont Institute, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and other groups funded by the Scaife Foundations that helped give white supremacist ideas a pseudo-intellectual air and an exciting cinematic veneer by casting them as the “light” side in a battle between light and dark forces. Located in Sherman Oaks,  the David Horowitz Freedom Center is led by David Horowitz, Miller’s lifelong mentor, who says liberals pose “an existential threat” to the country because of their allyship with Muslims and others. Both the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Claremont Institute co-sponsored an event this April to bring the Dutch politician and Islamophobe Geert Wilders to Chapman University and screen a film painting Muslims as a danger to civilization. Both think tanks deny the existence of systemic racism against dark-skinned people while at the same time arguing that multiculturalism is deadly to America. The Claremont Institute’s podcast cheekily debates the merits of eugenics, and features a clip from the band Imagine Dragons’ song “Monster”: “I’m taking a stand to escape what’s inside me: a monster, a monster…and it keeps getting stronger!”

Members of California’s far right seem to revel in their antihero status. When I visited the Claremont Institute last year, president Ryan Williams told me conservatives like him see human nature as fixed and flawed, unlike liberals who see it as “perfectible.” The policies they support reflect their pessimistic view of humankind. They see themselves as clear-eyed warriors in a dystopian drama, living out the white supremacist conspiracy theory that says brown and Black people are replacing whites and endangering civilization. This false notion of white genocide, or the “great replacement theory,” has motivated self-styled heroes to commit acts of white terrorism, such as the massacre of 23 people in El Paso, Texas, last summer.

California has also bred commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson, whose Hollywood-style apocalypse-mongering was noted with appreciation by the Claremont Institute: “[Republicans] would do well to follow Tucker Carlon’s lead. Night after night, in appropriately apocalyptic terms, Tucker explains the revolution,” the chairman of the Claremont Institute’s board, Thomas D. Klingenstein, told Orange County conservatives in August. Carlson has called himself a “libertarian right-winger,” which is how Miller identified in college.

In California, the myth of rugged, rigid, ruthless individualism that feeds right-wing libertarianism is trafficked like a drug alongside similarly addictive dystopian fantasies that inflate self-importance. Miller recently tried to justify the use of federal forces to crack down on antiracist protesters by telling Carlson on his show, “This is about the survival of this country and we will not back down.”

California conservatives like Miller and Tucker Carlson have mastered the art of conflating people of color and their allies with welfare-guzzling criminals: dog whistling, demonizing, and declaring doomsday in response to anything threatening the dominance of white men. The birther lie attacking Senator Harris is rooted in apocalyptic racism, as is Trump’s immigration agenda.

Miller’s immigration policies come from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigration think tank created by John Tanton, a white nationalist who believed in population control for non-white people and led successful efforts in California to mandate English as the official language. Tanton, who passed away in 2019, sought to coordinate attacks on affirmative action with Frederick R. Lynch, whose article “Immigration Nightmares,” was published by the Claremont Review of Books in 2003, arguing that California was turning into “Mexifornia.” Tanton also published an English translation of a novel about the destruction of the white world by subhuman brown refugees, The Camp of the Saints, which spoke to Miller and which he promoted through Breitbart in 2015.

It’s important to connect the dots between the White House and California’s long legacy of white supremacy to demonstrate that Trumpism is not an aberration but rather the culmination of long-fueled politics of hate. In 1991, when Miller was five years old in his home city of Santa Monica in 1991, hundreds of families with Hispanic surnames received a letter in their mailboxes that appeared to be from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District headquarters. It featured the district’s bulk-mail permit number and address labels. Inside was a typed, one-page hate screed. The author said Mexicans were making the community unsafe and using up welfare. It called Mexicans “brown animals” and read: “We’ll gas you like Hitler gassed the Jews.”

The screed denied the existence of racism among white people and accused Mexicans of being “the real racists.” It singled out Mexican American Santa Monica High School alumnus Oscar de la Torre, alleging that he had been elected student body president the previous year because he was Mexican. “Why should there be a double standard for these wild beasts?” the letter asked. It called for a boycott of Mexican celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo, and of the student group MEChA, the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán. The letter said Mexicans “infest our community with gays and lesbians.” It encouraged them to put on bulletproof vests and get ready for the gun battle.

De la Torre was 19 at the time, and his family received the screed under the letterhead of a “Samohi Assn. for the Advancement of Conservative White Americans” (Samohi is a nickname for Santa Monica High School). De la Torre called for an investigation of the hate crime. Police said they suspected someone in the school was responsible, but the crime remains unsolved three decades later. A public records request turned up a single police report. In an interview last year, de la Torre told me the lack of a resolution is indicative of how Santa Monica leaders felt, and feel, about racism. “Put it under the rug, let’s not talk about it,” he says.

In 2001, ten years after the letter was distributed, de la Torre was a counselor at Samohi and co-chaired a committee on equality. Stephen Miller, then a teenager, showed up to one of the first meetings. “Racism does not exist,” de la Torre says Miller told him. According to de la Torre, Miller also said the school was excusing black and Hispanic misbehavior by holding those students to a lower standard. Miller became a regular at the meetings, arguing against bilingual education, Spanish-language announcements, and multicultural activities such as Cinco de Mayo celebrations. He reportedly said the club for gay people was ruining the school.

It didn’t escape de la Torre that Miller’s rhetoric echoed that 1991 hate letter. Miller came to personify the nameless author who had haunted de la Torre for years.

“Stephen Miller did not invent that ideology,” he says. “He learned it from somewhere. And the person who wrote that letter also learned it. These feelings that divide our country, they exist, they can morph, they can grow.”

Jean Guerrero’s book, Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda, is on stands now.

Source: Commentary: The Claremont Institute and Trump’s Politics of White Fear

The Man Who Made Stephen Miller

Good long and interesting read:

In December 2012, with the Republican Party reeling from a brutal election that left Democrats in control of the White House and the Senate, the conservative activist David Horowitz emailed a strategy paper to the office of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

Horowitz, now 81, was a longtime opponent of immigration and the founder of a think tank and a campus freedom-of-speech advocacy group. He saw in Sessions a kindred spirit—a senator who could reawaken a more nationalist fire in the Republican party. The person he emailed it to was a Sessions aide: Stephen Miller. Horowitz, who recalled the episode in an interview and shared the emails with me, had known Miller since the aide was in high school.

Horowitz encouraged Miller to not only give the paper to Sessions but to circulate it in the Senate. Miller expressed eagerness to share it and asked for instructions. “Leave the Confidential note on it. It gives it an aura that will make people pay more attention to it,” Horowitz wrote. The paper, “Playing to the Head Instead of the Heart: Why Republicans Lost and How They Can Win,” included a section on the political utility of hostile feelings. Horowitz wrote that Democrats know how to “hate their opponents,” how to “incite envy and resentment, distrust and fear, and to direct those volatile emotions.” He urged Republicans to “return their fire.”

Horowitz wrote that hope and fear are the two strongest weapons in politics. Barack Obama had used hope to become president. “Fear is a much stronger and more compelling emotion,” Horowitz argued, adding that Republicans should appeal to voters’ base instincts.

It is perhaps the most compact crystallization of the relationship that propelled Miller, now a senior policy adviser and speechwriter in the Donald Trump administration, to the White House and of the importance that relationship has had in the administration. The friendship between Miller and Horowitz began when Miller—who did not respond to interview requests for the book from which this article was adapted—was in high school and continued throughout his career. Tracing it reveals a source of Miller’s laser focus on immigration restriction, which has over the past few years resulted in a ban on travel from mostly-Muslim countries and a policy that separated families crossing the border into the United States to seek asylum. If you want to understand the language Trump uses to talk about immigrants and his opponents, or the immigration policies he has put into place, often via Miller, you have to also understand David Horowitz, and the formative role he played in Miller’s career and life.

Miller met Horowitz shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when Miller was a teenager growing up on the Southern California coast. He was going through a period of family turmoil. A few years before, they had moved out of a million-dollar home in a wealthy white neighborhood to a slightly smaller house in a more diverse neighborhood. Miller’s father Michael was having financial troubles and fighting several legal battles related to his real estate company, including a fight with his brother whom he permanently separated from the family with a no-contact order in a settlement agreement. Rather than attending a private school the way Michael’s youngest son later did, his oldest son Stephen found himself at a diverse public school, which celebrated Día de los Muertos and Cinco de Mayo.

When his father was tangled up in lawsuits, Miller found comfort in a number of conservative California-based talk radio show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh complained about multiculturalism and the poor, whom he called “the biggest piglets at the mother pig and her nipples” in his book The Way Things Ought To Be. Miller read the book and later cited it as a favorite….

Adapted with permission from HATEMONGER: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda by Jean Guerrero. Copyright © 2020 by Jean Guerrero. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: The Man Who Made Stephen Miller