Mothers warn children to be careful about the company they keep. President Donald Trump should heed that guidance in listening to his adviser Stephen Miller about immigration policies.
Stephen Miller isn’t a household name. He has never held elective office. He doesn’t show up on television very often. A recent appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” however, exposed why we should pay attention to who has the ear of the president.
Miller, 33, a far-right provocateur, is a senior adviser for policy in the White House. He is also the inhumane face of immigration issues for the Trump administration.
Miller’s outrageously provocative contrarianism at his liberal Santa Monica, Calif., high school and at Duke University may have been as much for effect as to make a political point. But his rants about academic intolerance and the suppression of free speech in the college environment also covered underlying xenophobia and racism. Now, the mask has dropped away.
In a rising combative tone on the Sunday morning talk program, Miller referred to the “ongoing crisis of illegal immigration,” and to the smallest immigrants as “alien children,” and claimed that “whether or not the United States remains a sovereign nation” is actually at risk.
Miller acts as if this country, with all its wealth and might, will actually disappear under a wave of refugees. He acts as if this nation cannot meet this challenge unless it builds walls, separates children from their parents, terrorizes immigrant communities and keeps out anyone who isn’t northern European. He covers that latter belief by whining about attitudes, policies and crises that don’t exist.
In Germany, Adolf Hitler was the public image of Nazi policies of racial purity. It was the company he kept, men like Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler, who turned that image into the horrors of the final solution.
The media paid less attention to Miller’s rants than to an unfortunate hair color fail. He seems to have tried covering his receded hairline with a spray-on black substitute. We shouldn’t allow ourselves that same escape to entertainment.
Believing that people who speak a different language, have a different skin color, worship God with different rituals or come here because they have little other choice are a threat to the “real” America is nothing more than white nationalism.
America has the resources to solve the problem of refugees showing up at our southern border. Miller simply wants to bolt the door. He is not the kind of company we should be keeping.