August 3rd, 2017

Stephen Miller found his calling early

In case you haven’t seen the topic du jour—-Stephen Miller’s put-down of Jim Acosta—here it is:

Miller is a bulldog there, relentlessly on message and completely unafraid. This made me curious about him, and so I looked him up.

First of all, he’s only 31; I thought he was much older. But he’s an old pro; he’s been doing this pretty much since high school. And he had a political change experience back then, which doesn’t surprise me. That’s pretty early in life, so in some ways it doesn’t really qualify as a change experience because his political identity hadn’t yet been fully formed. Since then, though, he’s exhibited a laserlike focus:

Though his parents were Democrats, Miller became a conservative after reading Guns, Crime, and Freedom, a book by National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. While attending Santa Monica High School, Miller began appearing on conservative talk radio. In 2002, at the age of sixteen, Miller wrote a letter to the editor of the Santa Monica Lookout, criticizing his school’s pacifist response to 9/11 in which he stated that “Osama Bin Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School.” Miller invited conservative activist David Horowitz to speak, first at the high school and later at Duke University, and afterwards denounced the fact that neither of the centers would authorize the event. Miller was in the habit of “riling up his fellow [high school] classmates with controversial statements” and telling Latino students to speak only English.

In 2007, Miller received his bachelor’s degree from Duke University, majoring in political science. Miller served as president of the Duke chapter of Horowitz’s Students for Academic Freedom and wrote conservative columns for the school newspaper. Miller gained national attention for his defense of the students who were wrongly accused of rape in the Duke lacrosse case.

There’s much much more at the link. The guy has essentially been debating politics in a fairly aggressive way for his entire life.

[NOTE: Oh, and by the way, about the poem to which Acosta is referring—if you read its history, you see how accurate Miller was.]

38 Responses to “Stephen Miller found his calling early”

  1. BigFire Says:

    Truth have no place in the narrative. Besides, Jim Acosta was auditioning for his own show by showboating.

  2. J.J. Says:

    Just fabulous! If we could just channel Stephen Miller’s knowledge and grasp of the issues in to Trump’s brain. He is truly a conservative warrior with intellectual armaments seldom seen in anyone on the conservative side. Too many conservatives are too principled, too ethical, too gentlemanly, and too afraid of the MSM to take a Democrat with a byline apart in such a deft, straightforward manner.

    I’d love to see him at the WH press conferences on a regular basis. He’s da man.

  3. Harry the Extremist Says:

    I dont know Neo. I think Miller started strong but instead of moving on, the argument ended up being needlessly over-extended and fairly cringe-worthy. This wasnt his finest moment to be sure.

  4. Tuvea Says:

    Not surprising.

    Conservatives have truth and the facts on our side.

    Liberals/Progressives have feelings and violence, either private or state-sponsered, on theirs.

  5. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Bravo, Sir.

    Mr Miller has obviously absorbed the advice of one of your most dynamic and effective presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, who lived his life by the maxim: “Never be too proud to fight”.

    The SJW bullies don’t see conservatives, traditionalists and libertarians who walk away from the fight rather than getting down and dirty as principled.

    No. They see cowards and think themselves strong and are only encouraged. That has gone on too long and people are now waking up to it. It is conservatives/traditionalists like Mr Miller who are the truly “woke”, not the SJW’s.

    Trump is for good reason often labelled Jacksonian, but I see many more similarities between him and TR going way beyond the New York locale.

  6. Liz Says:

    I thought the reporter was a jerk for the constant interrupting and would have preferred seeing Miller just stop talking and stare him into silence. And then, let the silence linger for a bit…

    I’ve done that in meetings when I was giving a report. And, I have also told the interrupter to finish giving my report, which they couldn’t. But it proved my point and stopped the interruptions until I called for questions.

  7. parker Says:

    Miller is a warrior. I see a young Breitbart.

  8. Ann Says:

    I think it’s Miller who comes across as the jerk here, going off on a pedantic tangent. To most of us, the Statue of Liberty does symbolize exactly what Acosta says it does — a welcoming embrace of those tired, hungry, huddled masses. Miller should instead have met head-on the accusation that Trump’s immigration proposals don’t in reality go against that common perception.

    Also his comment that to become a naturalized citizen, one has to speak English is not totally accurate because there are exceptions made based on age and time spent in the country. But more to the point, immigrants do not have to ever become citizens; they can remain lawful permanent residents for life.

  9. Ira Says:

    parker: “I see a young Breitbart.”

    That’s it! Yes!!

  10. huxley Says:

    Acosta’s non-stop interruptions were super-annoying. By my count he spoke more than Miller did.

    I rather thought journalism was about asking questions then listening to answers and writing about them later. Instead Acosta behaves as though he were in a debate with Miller and even in that context he overstepped propriety.

    I would like to see more strict moderation of such exchanges.

  11. John Guilfoyle Says:

    “I would like to see more strict moderation of such exchanges.”

    I would like to see the cameras turned off again to stem the grandstanders like Acosta & I’d like to see Acosta’s credentials suspended for 60 days because of his rudeness. Glenn Thrush right behind him. Ask your questions don’t make a speech…and for goodness sake let the questions be answered without interrupting.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    I don’t see any resemblance to Breitbart, except in fighting spirit.

    Breitbart had a certain charm and humor. That’s not Miller’s style.

  13. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Miller was tenacious, not needlessly dragging it out but instead aggressively pushing back at Acosta’s pushing forward and rudeness.

  14. charles Says:

    Good for him – the “reporter” was doing nothing but a “gotcha!”

    This reporter’s behavior is one of the reasons so many people do NOT like the press.

  15. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Miller was defending himself from being Accosta’d.

  16. AesopFan Says:

    I think Acosta did a very poor job of channeling Candy Crowley. He was reduced to mumbling in an undertone throughout Miller’s reply.
    However, even though Miller was correct, Ann does direct attention to why the Left still claims it somehow “won” the encounter (although I do not think Miller was a jerk for attempting to school Acosta in the need for accuracy in journalism).

    Ann Says:
    August 3rd, 2017 at 6:49 pm
    I think it’s Miller who comes across as the jerk here, going off on a pedantic tangent. To most of us, the Statue of Liberty does symbolize exactly what Acosta says it does — a welcoming embrace of those tired, hungry, huddled masses. Miller should instead have met head-on the accusation that Trump’s immigration proposals don’t in reality go against that common perception.

  17. parker Says:

    I agree Miller does not have Breitbart’s charm, but yes the fighting spirit is strong in this young one.

  18. Sean Says:

    Miller’s obviously been reading Derbyshire and Sailer. What he said about ‘The New Colossus’ was right out of one of their articles. I think it was Derbyshire who said, “We shouldn’t let a third-rate poem by a 19th century communist dictate our immigration policy.”

  19. Richard Saunders Says:

    When the poem was written, when my grandparents came here, the US needed lots of low-skilled workers in industry, agriculture and trade. Now it doesn’t. And the immigrants of that era did their damnest to learn English and assimilate — anybody else remember “The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K-A*P*L*A*N?” It was popular all through the ’50s.

  20. Dan Says:

    If you think the Statue of Liberty is about immigration, then it’s not Stephen Miller’s fault you are ignorant. It has never been about immigration – just the tacky plaque with an even tackier poem by someone who wasn’t even an American pushing endless immigration on America.

    This entire idea that we’re a “nation of immigrants” is literally post-WWII propaganda that was created to help pass the Hart-Cellar Immigration Act of 1965. It’s not historically accurate – we WERE a nation of SETTLERS and PIONEERS, not immigrants. We’ve had long periods of very strict immigration controls in our history as well, and that’s exactly what we need again.

    It’s telling that Acosta’s only “arguments” were an appeal to a tradition that doesn’t exist and emotional appeals about a poem stuck onto a famous monument. Even if he wasn’t wrong about our “tradition” of immigration it is still an AWFUL argument given that currently immigration is doing a great amount of harm to the American people who aren’t rich liberals living in 98% white gated communities.

  21. Sean Says:

    Richard,

    When the poem was written, when my grandparents came here, the US needed lots of low-skilled workers in industry, agriculture and trade. Now it doesn’t. And the immigrants of that era did their damnest to learn English and assimilate — anybody else remember “The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K-A*P*L*A*N?” It was popular all through the ’50s.

    Researchers have gone book and looked at the immigrant pools of the second half of the 19th century and found that the average immigrant then was actually more skilled than the average American worker.

  22. Sean Says:

    Dan,

    For you: https://pics.me.me/1965-1980-its-not-going-to-of-course-you-will-3780738.png

  23. huxley Says:

    My father was half-hispanic. He spoke Spanish before English but he never taught me because melting pot.

    At this point I wish he had because free fluency.

  24. Bob Says:

    “When the poem was written, when my grandparents came here, the US needed lots of low-skilled workers in industry,’

    When that poem was written, if you were missing the tip of your pinky finger you were sent back.

    If you had any ailments or infirmaries of any kind you were sent back.

  25. Jonathan Says:

    I disagree with Derbyshire….I think it’s an excellent, beautiful poem, and am flattered that a non-American would be moved to write it. I think it’s okay for us on the right to admit that it’s a beautiful thing that at Lazrus’s moment in history we gave an opportunity for the world’s hard-working poor to use their ambition to join us and better themselves, while also explaining that since we run America on behalf of Americans, and have a generous safety hammock which is bleeding us dry, we now want to preference immigrants who have demonstrated their ambition and self-sufficiency by learning useful skills (including our language) before they get here. There is no contradiction and no shame in this.

  26. CV Says:

    Miller’s backstory reminds me of the old TV comedy Family Ties, in which Michael J. fox played the conservative teenage son of bleeding heart parents. I’ll bet the dinner table conversations were lively in his childhood home.

    Jim Acosta is a biased, self-involved grandstander who personifies everything that’s wrong with CNN and Big Media these days. It’s nice to see someone like Miller hand Acosta his lunch.

    That said, I also tend to agree with Ann that Miller came off as
    a bit pedantic and jerky in the exchange, especially regarding public perceptions of the Statue of Liberty and it’s meaning to Americans. A little charm and humor goes a long way in these situations.

  27. carl in atlanta Says:

    For me, there’s something off-putting about Stephen Miller. He reminds me of a guy who was the only John Bircher in my freshman class in college back in 1969 (and actually he was only the 2nd Bircher I’ve ever actually known): the guy was smart as hell, outspoken, argumentative with old and young alike, and thoroughly unlike-able; he was like a fanatical priest from the days of the Inquisition.

    That said, I do admire the fact that Miller clearly has the courage of his convictions (I also admired — and still admire- that aspect of my old Bircher classmate’s personality even though I never ‘liked’ him).

  28. Sean Says:

    I think it’s an excellent, beautiful poem, and am flattered that a non-American would be moved to write it.

    It’s not, it’s second rate. Put it up next to Byron or Pushkin and it becomes readily obvious.

    It also becomes obvious that it’s an attempt at re-defining the American immigrant narrative along left-wing political lines.

    we now want to preference immigrants who have demonstrated their ambition and self-sufficiency by learning useful skills (including our language) before they get here. There is no contradiction and no shame in this.

    That’s not disagreeing with Derby. In any case, what you have just said describes the majority of the immigrants we got in the 19th century. They weren’t some monolithic mass of unskilled peasants, like we get today; they were skilled tradesmen, entrepreneurs and the like. Our policy back then was to select for people like that.

  29. Frog Says:

    Bob: So? You prefer zero standards to standards that might be poor?
    As to missing the tip of a fifth digit, that may be hyperbolic. But I’m not going to waste half an hour checking it out.
    I read H*Y*M*N in the ’50s. And vaguely remember it as moving, with a commitment to Americanize. Instead of the pushing “ocho” in every phone menu.

  30. arfldgrs Says:

    It was a wonderful thing to watch them call stupid to the mattress…

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    Jonathan; Sean:

    What’s this “non-American would be moved to write it” business?

    The Statue of Liberty was French, a gift from the people of France and designed and made by the French. But the poem was penned by an American woman named Emma Lazarus, who was born in New York and whose family (on her mother’s side) had been in the US since before the American Revolution. See this.

  32. Sean Says:

    Right. The poem on the Statue of Liberty was not put there by the people who built it. They’re two different things and the original meaning of the Statue was totally different from what it became after Lazarus’s poem.

  33. huxley Says:

    Bob: So? You prefer zero standards to standards that might be poor?

    Frog: I took Bob’s comment as an argument that even in Emma Lazarus’s day the US didn’t take any and all warm bodies who showed up among the huddled masses.

  34. Bob Says:

    Thanks for clarifying that Huxley, I stopped trying to correct misimpressions of my comments long ago, chalking it up to not writing clearly enough.

    I literally thought there was no other way to take my comment.

  35. Ymar Sakar Says:

    There are two places that qualify as the New Jerusalem of the re unification of the 12 tribes of Israel or Joseph.

    Judea, the Roman province in the ME.

    And US as Mystery Babylon +

  36. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The US actually contains more than 2 tribes, whereas what is known as the state of israel only has the tribe of Benjamine and Judah. Mostly Judah.

  37. Beat Down – Splendid Isolation Says:

    […] and watching football with Mr. Sorenson — and also, because for some reason (ha!), the Miller/Acosta fracas never made the news Over Here — but I love […]

  38. Julia Says:

    The left smashes every tradition except one that the right disagrees with?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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