Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Stephen Miller: Tracked and Targeted

 

The latest Trump team member in the media crosshairs is White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller (not to be confused with Ricochet’s Conservatarian co-host or that ’70s joker, smoker, and midnight toker). Miller was one of the chief architects of the travel ban. To be kind, most feel President Trump’s bungled executive order temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries was a public relations and logistical faux pas. Subsequently, Miller’s teleprompter-like Sunday morning news interviews were cringe-worthy and are now the likely low hanging fruit for upcoming SNL hazing.

Without relitigating the travel ban (as there are still some Trump supporters who cannot separate the ban from the man) here’s the nutshell: Beyond the obvious inconvenience to those mid-air passengers and Iraqi interpreters supporting US forces, the ban lobbed a slow-pitch grapefruit sized softball to the already antagonistic press, media, and cultural icons, and gifted an unending treasure trove of xenophobic narratives confirming their assertion “Trump is Hitler.”

One can argue the legalities, but messaging is everything. Everything.

While previous administrations commonly use energetic but inexperienced youth to promote policy and fresh ideas, to his credit Stephen Miller actually comes with some notable experience. This has of course been used against him.

Fifteen years ago while in high school(!) Miller’s reputation was a conservative bull in a liberal china shop. He was a right wing firebrand at the uber-liberal Santa Monica High School. For those not familiar with Santa Monica, think of it as San Francisco South, or more common “the Peoples Republic,” where it’s becoming harder to differentiate between homeowners and the homeless. Liberal indoctrination at SMHS borders on Clockwork Orange forced conditioning after which the glazed, wide-eyed Berniacs are uploaded 1984-style into America’s universities where they will hone their regurgitated mantra about racist evildoers and corporate overlords.

Miller’s crime? He had the audacity to fight for and win reinstatement of the daily Pledge of Allegiance. (Reinstated, as in it was once removed). I am not sure why that is viewed as a negative by local media, but in liberal-land, even the daily morning pledge to our flag makes some feel “uncomfortable.”

Where he truly made enemies was his repeated efforts to have his minority-majority high school become English speaking only. According to the not-at-all biased Los Angeles Times, as a Jewish conservative (strike one), who comes from a good NoMo family (“North of Montana” is a wealthy neighborhood — strike two), the 16/17-year-old Miller “fought against multiculturalism” (strike three, you’re out!).

Miller wrote articles for David Horowitz, invited Larry Elder to SMHS, and attended school board meetings in suit and tie fighting “against special treatment for immigrants and others.” An off-record conversation with a friend who’s very close friends with Miller’s former teachers says he is remembered as a lone conservative who vented his outrage against Spanish-speaking students at a school where minorities outnumbered whites. He was not popular with students or teachers.

Latino students recall Miller telling them dismissively that they would do better to work on their English language skills rather than spend their time forming clubs based on ethnicity. Some called him racist.

Miller went on to Duke where he wrote columns and became a local celebrity by vocally defending the Duke LaCrosse team whose members were incorrectly charged with rape. This provided television time where his views always came from a place of being in the minority … the conservative minority. From his high school days, to being the head of the conservative union at Duke, to working for Senator Sessions in an effort to kill an amnesty-like immigration deal, he always loudly battled his way to ensure his conservative stances were heard.

Now at age 31, his views no longer represent the aggrieved conservative who has been cast out by powerful liberals. He is literally steps away from the most powerful person on earth, has his ear, and currently his trust.

Millers idealogy, fight, and zeal is appreciated by his base, but he must understand there are two jobs for a new administration; creating policy and being able to effectively communicate said policy to a dubious media and concerned voters.

In his first test of both, Miller has failed.

As President Trump doesn’t enjoy the benefit of a honeymoon, every sentence, word, and utterance by his staff is viewed through the media’s lens of disdain — of both message and messenger.

Mr. Miller, with all due respect, slow down, practice, and rehearse. Work with your team on likability or have someone else take the shots. You are undoubtedly aware the entire media industry is currently tracking and deliberately targeting you for a quick takedown.

It’s too early for this administration to add another head to the left’s trophy wall.

There are 26 comments.

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  1. Sweezle Member

    Miller is a smart and knowledgeable guy. During the campaign I did enjoy hearing from him but he seemed more relaxed and less dogmatic. Hopefully he will relax and work on his PR skills. I think he could make a good spokesman if he did.

    • #1
    • February 16, 2017, at 11:28 AM PST
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  2. Dad Dog Member

    Saw him on Fox News Sunday, had to fast forward after about five words. Cringeworthy cross between Josh Earnest and Joseph Goebbels.

    • #2
    • February 16, 2017, at 11:37 AM PST
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  3. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Good summary David, thanks.

    On a side note am I the only one that finds both the Pledge and overly political teenagers to be creepy?

    • #3
    • February 16, 2017, at 11:51 AM PST
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  4. DocJay Inactive

    Nice article. Mr Miller can weather this if he follows your advice, or perhaps other sage advice, but if he is shoot from the hip out there right now it may not end well.

    • #4
    • February 16, 2017, at 12:05 PM PST
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  5. Doctor Robert Member

    His manner is a little off-putting, perhaps by virtue of his use of the leftist-angry-tone, but his words are balm to my ears. We need sharp, smart, no-nonsense spokesmen for American values and rule of law. Give us a hundred Stephen Millers and we will reclaim the culture.

    • #5
    • February 16, 2017, at 12:05 PM PST
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  6. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    After reading your article, Mr Sussman, my first thought was how do we develope more of these Miller types. So if your main problem is his style, I’d give him some slack. This was his first time doing eyeball to eyeball with the professional Sunday morning genital crunchers, wasn’t it? I’ve heard other critiques of his performance that raved in glowing fashion.

    • #6
    • February 16, 2017, at 12:25 PM PST
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  7. PHCheese Member

    I like a fighter. Steve is a fighter.

    • #7
    • February 16, 2017, at 12:25 PM PST
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  8. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    The pledge was written by a socialist and paints a picture of the United States that was never meant to be. I am not a nationalist, nor do I think the United State are indivisible. Long live the federal republic that holds that the states are sovereign and independent. Think locally and act locally.

    • #8
    • February 16, 2017, at 12:34 PM PST
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  9. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Good summary David, thanks.

    On a side note am I the only one that finds both the Pledge and overly political teenagers to be creepy?

    I have no problem with the Pledge … but I understand why some do. I do agree on the teens. I’ve met several at political conventions and while I applaud their early interest, in many cases they haven’t yet developed their filter, so you sometimes hear a stream of consciousness that borders on AM radio turrets.

    • #9
    • February 16, 2017, at 3:57 PM PST
    • Like
  10. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Nice article. Mr Miller can weather this if he follows your advice, or perhaps other sage advice, but if he is shoot from the hip out there right now it may not end well.

    I think he, Spicer and in some cases Conway think that because the base like Trump’s unconventional style they themselves can adopt it. They are wrong. Let Trump be Trump, as we saw today but they need to tone it down.

    • #10
    • February 16, 2017, at 3:59 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Nice article. Mr Miller can weather this if he follows your advice, or perhaps other sage advice, but if he is shoot from the hip out there right now it may not end well.

    I think he, Spicer and in some cases Conway think that because the base like Trump’s unconventional style they themselves can adopt it. They are wrong. Let Trump be Trump, as we saw today but they need to tone it down.

    I dunno, the base here at Ricochet seems to love it when they act this way.

    • #11
    • February 16, 2017, at 4:01 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    His manner is a little off-putting, perhaps by virtue of his use of the leftist-angry-tone, but his words are balm to my ears. We need sharp, smart, no-nonsense spokesmen for American values and rule of law. Give us a hundred Stephen Millers and we will reclaim the culture.

    His manner is definitely off putting. I don’t know about kids his own age but I don’t want to yelled at by anyone, especially someone that young. If he is appealing to millennials and stats show they like that style, then I stand corrected, but I doubt that to be the case.

    Give me a hundred Millers who have been trained to speak properly. This is politics, not WWF.

    • #12
    • February 16, 2017, at 4:03 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    The pledge was written by a socialist and paints a picture of the United States that was never meant to be. I am not a nationalist, nor do I think the United State are indivisible. Long live the federal republic that holds that the states are sovereign and independent. Think locally and act locally.

    I never realized having our youth think patriotically for a minute a day was a problem to some on the Right. Who knew!?

    • #13
    • February 16, 2017, at 4:06 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Nice article. Mr Miller can weather this if he follows your advice, or perhaps other sage advice, but if he is shoot from the hip out there right now it may not end well.

    I think he, Spicer and in some cases Conway think that because the base like Trump’s unconventional style they themselves can adopt it. They are wrong. Let Trump be Trump, as we saw today but they need to tone it down.

    I dunno, the base here at Ricochet seems to love it when they act this way.

    Yes, many on here do enjoy it when Trump does his thing, and I do too for pure schadenfreude – watching the Lefts reaction is delicious. My point is when his staff try to emulate that style it’s disingenuous. These people are not Trump. There really can only be one.

    • #14
    • February 16, 2017, at 4:19 PM PST
    • Like
  15. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    Nearly everyone can benefit from lessons on communication skills and the art of persuasion, but it’s especially important at this juncture in history when President Trump’s administration must deal with a hostile media, and an effort by the left (and some on the right) to discredit him. If his people spend all of their time trying to keep their heads above water, they can’t properly communicate the agenda that got him elected in the first place.

    Although I haven’t seen Mr. Miller in action, I trust Dave’s judgment and know that a lot of public perception is based not on thorough knowledge, but shallow and passing impressions. Even though Obama talked complete nonsense most of the time, he enjoyed the perception of sophistication because he carried himself with confidence, had a nice voice and wore beautiful suits. We live in an era where polish and pizazz are more important than substance for getting votes, and in the end, if we want to shift the power more towards Republicanism, we need every vote we can get.

    • #15
    • February 16, 2017, at 5:26 PM PST
    • Like
  16. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Melissa Praemonitus (View Comment):
    Even though Obama talked complete nonsense most of the time, he enjoyed the perception of sophistication because he carried himself with confidence, had a nice voice and wore beautiful suits. We live in an era where polish and pizazz are more important than substance for getting votes, and in the end, if we want to shift the power more towards Republicanism, we need every vote we can get.

    I have seen some of today’s press conference and obviously Trump is his own best advocate. If we were to do a simple SWOT analysis on the new administration, while we should applaud President Trump on his cabinet picks and SCOTUS nominee we can be intellectual honest in pointing out that a few of his spokespeople are among the potential weaknesses and threats.

    • #16
    • February 16, 2017, at 6:12 PM PST
    • Like
  17. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    The pledge was written by a socialist and paints a picture of the United States that was never meant to be. I am not a nationalist, nor do I think the United State are indivisible. Long live the federal republic that holds that the states are sovereign and independent. Think locally and act locally.

    I never realized having our youth think patriotically for a minute a day was a problem to some on the Right. Who knew!?

    Patriotism is not the same as nationalism.

    • #17
    • February 16, 2017, at 6:33 PM PST
    • Like
  18. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    I have seen some of today’s press conference and obviously Trump is his own best advocate. If we were to do a simple SWOT analysis on the new administration, while we should applaud President Trump on his cabinet picks and SCOTUS nominee we can be intellectual honest in pointing out that a few of his spokespeople are among the potential weaknesses and threats.

    Indeed. I believe that a lot more people are watching President Trump speak than checking in with CNN for advice on how to think about it. He communicates in plain language as if he’s having a conversation over the dinner table. News is boring. Trump is so interesting, it’s hard to find anyone who can compete.

    • #18
    • February 16, 2017, at 6:38 PM PST
    • Like
  19. Sleepywhiner Inactive

    I liked Miller, but I guess I like it when anyone stands up to the Sunday morning Democrat operatives, oops, talking heads.

    • #19
    • February 16, 2017, at 6:48 PM PST
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  20. GrannyDude Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Good summary David, thanks.

    On a side note am I the only one that finds both the Pledge and overly political teenagers to be creepy?

    Maybe on the overly political teenagers, although if you’re the lone conservative at Santa Monica High, you’d have to be pretty “overly.”

    But I like the pledge. Not so much because of what it says ( though that’s okay with me too) but because there are so few moments when Americans (esp. kids) get to pause in the relentless rush for even one small ritual held in common by all of us. It’s nice.

    • #20
    • February 17, 2017, at 5:05 AM PST
    • Like
  21. RightAngles Member

    Dad Dog (View Comment):
    Saw him on Fox News Sunday, had to fast forward after about five words. Cringeworthy cross between Josh Earnest and Joseph Goebbels.

    OMG He reminded me of Goebbels too. That’s the first thing I thought.

    • #21
    • February 17, 2017, at 10:28 PM PST
    • Like
  22. RightAngles Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Good summary David, thanks.

    On a side note am I the only one that finds both the Pledge and overly political teenagers to be creepy?

    I have no problem with the Pledge … but I understand why some do. I do agree on the teens. I’ve met several at political conventions and while I applaud their early interest, in many cases they haven’t yet developed their filter, so you sometimes hear a stream of consciousness that borders on AM radio turrets.

    I also find overly political people under the age of 24 or so to be a little creepy. They remind me of Reese Witherspoon’s character in the movie “Election”- I think that’s what it was called.

    • #22
    • February 17, 2017, at 10:32 PM PST
    • Like
  23. RightAngles Member

    Dave Sussman: The latest Trump team member in the media crosshairs …

    And now a cousin of mine is one of the ones being considered for National Security Advisor (I can’t say which one as this is on the Main Feed and I’m incognito, but I blabbed it in the PIT). Do I have to hope he doesn’t get it?? Will they drag him and our family name (which is my mom’s maiden name and my daughter’s middle name) through the muck and mire??

    • #23
    • February 18, 2017, at 8:58 AM PST
    • Like
  24. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Dave Sussman: The latest Trump team member in the media crosshairs …

    And now a cousin of mine is one of the ones being considered for National Security Advisor (I can’t say which one as this is on the Main Feed and I’m incognito, but I blabbed it in the PIT). Do I have to hope he doesn’t get it?? Will they drag him and our family name (which is my mom’s maiden name and my daughter’s middle name) through the muck and mire??

    RA, this is very exciting. Will you keep us up to date or contact me personally to let me know?

    • #24
    • February 19, 2017, at 12:27 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Good summary David, thanks.

    On a side note am I the only one that finds both the Pledge and overly political teenagers to be creepy?

    Maybe on the overly political teenagers, although if you’re the lone conservative at Santa Monica High, you’d have to be pretty “overly.”

    But I like the pledge. Not so much because of what it says ( though that’s okay with me too) but because there are so few moments when Americans (esp. kids) get to pause in the relentless rush for even one small ritual held in common by all of us. It’s nice.

    Kate that’s also my feeling. I remember as a young emigre I always expected an ‘amen’ to be inserted at the end, as it was almost prayer-like. In retrospect, it gave us kids a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves. I think it’s a net good.

    • #25
    • February 19, 2017, at 12:32 PM PST
    • Like
  26. RightAngles Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Dave Sussman: The latest Trump team member in the media crosshairs …

    And now a cousin of mine is one of the ones being considered for National Security Advisor (I can’t say which one as this is on the Main Feed and I’m incognito, but I blabbed it in the PIT). Do I have to hope he doesn’t get it?? Will they drag him and our family name (which is my mom’s maiden name and my daughter’s middle name) through the muck and mire??

    RA, this is very exciting. Will you keep us up to date or contact me personally to let me know?

    Yes I will!

    • #26
    • February 19, 2017, at 1:15 PM PST
    • Like

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