S1: We just witnessed real leadership, which is Joe Biden said that as a nation, we should all be wearing a mask for the next three months because it will save lives. And the thing about Joe that the American people know is that his role of leadership in our country has always been about doing what’s best for the people of our country.
S2: Kanye has been a friend of mine for about 10 years, and, you know, we talk every now and then about different things and we both happen to be in Colorado. And so we we got together and we had a great discussion about a lot of things.
S3: This administration and the Republicans in Congress have never understood the gravity of the situation and called it a hoax.
S2: No, they are the hoax.
S4: Hello and welcome to Dreamcast. I’m Virginia Heffernan. So the show is a solemn downer, so I’m a little embarrassed to say I’m so excited that the choice is Eris. But don’t worry. You’re friends with my hope. I’m cautious. Everything’s still bleak. And Trump’s crushing the post office. And since we’ve got miles to go in this life or death thriller, I won’t even gloat about Carmela. We’re talking Steven Miller.
S5: My guest today is Jean Guerrero. She’s an investigative journalist and winner of the PEN Literary and Emmy Awards. She is the author of KRUX and most recently Hatemongering. Her book about Steven Miller is available right now from HarperCollins. Jean, welcome to Tramcars. Hey, it’s great to be here. It’s so, so good to meet you. See you on, Zoome. I am asked not infrequently how I can stand to immerse myself in the United States. Donald Trump all the time with this podcast and for four long years. But now I’ve met someone who I feel even more sorry for than people feel for me, namely you, because you have immerse yourself in the life of Stephen Miller. Oh my gosh. Like, how are you? Just a mental health check.
S3: Yeah, I’m OK. Yeah. I think it was definitely the most intense reporting project I’ve ever done. And there was a period where I was reading a lot of white nationalist and white supremacist literature that, you know, inspired Steven Miller in order to try to get inside his head. And that part was very expand my head around it. I was I felt like I was going crazy for a little while.
S5: Yeah. I’m glad to hear you admit that, because, I mean, we’ve all had to go down some very weird rabbit holes. You know, notably recently, people have been looking into what Kuhnen is or other sorts of false beliefs now around. Well, we had demons, sperm a couple of weeks ago. And these are hyper arousing subjects. You know, they’re meant to, like, hit you in all these kind of primitive places. So, I mean, they almost have like a drug like effect on you.
S3: Exactly the language they use and everything. So what was some of that? Yeah, from private correspondence that I obtained for the book, like I found that Steven Miller for a very long time has actually been using fear deliberately and other hostile emotions, looking at strategy papers, you know, he worked on it’s something that he’s been doing deliberately and reading some of this literature that inspired him was was really illuminating because, you know, you read I was reading the Camp of the Saints, which is this white supremacist book that Steven Miller promoted in 2015 through Breitbart, urging Breitbart writers to write about the parallels between the book and real life. And it’s this book about the destruction of the white world by these brown refugees who are described in really horrific language that is supposed to create a sense of disgust towards migrants, you know, talking about them as monsters, as beasts, as teeming ants, toiling for the white man’s comfort, talking about them like bathing in rivers of sperm, like really gruesome stuff that is supposed to emotionally trigger you and get you to want to shut down the border because, you know, otherwise all these these brown and black people might come and destroy civilization as we know it. But when you recognize that these these books are doing that deliberately, it doesn’t make it any less chilling. Like it’s just it’s a feeling, knowing how effective it could be, knowing that there’s so many people who have read this book, including the most powerful adviser in the White House and who have been inspired by it, to try to, you know, completely crack down on all types of immigration, whether it’s refugee admissions or asylum seekers or regardless of whether you’ve broken any laws. And it’s because they have demographic replacement ideas rather than it has nothing to do with national security the way that they say it does. Their immigration agenda has to do with trying to make sure that this country remains majority white, because Steven Miller has been taught and was indoctrinated from a very young age in the belief that brown and black people, if there’s too many of them, then civilization as we know it will end.
S5: OK, so how did he go from at least I know from his uncle, who has been a pretty vocal detractor of Stevens, that he wasn’t born into a family that, you know, looked like it was going to create a new Joseph Goebbels. Right. So how did this happen?
S3: Yeah, I mean, he comes from a family that has donated very generously for generations to pro immigration organizations, has been a very pro immigrant and refugee family for decades. And, you know, Steven Miller grew up in a very. Barole City in Santa Monica, California, and initially his parents identified as liberals, however, there’s this myth that Steven Miller was kind of the first conservative in his family and that he, like, changed his parents to become part of the Republican Party. And that’s actually that’s actually not true. Steven Miller likes to create this myth around himself. But from my reporting for the book, it’s clear that his father was going through a rough time during Steve Miller’s childhood with his real estate company losing a lot of money and legal disputes, that he was tangled up in being accused of dishonesty in his business dealings and numerous bankruptcies. And this is when his dad starts to really express conservative beliefs and to rail against the ridiculous liberal elites, as he calls them. And this is also, you know, it coincides with a difficult period in Stephen Miller’s life where Steven Miller was having to move from a very affluent part of Santa Monica to a slightly less affluent part part they had to move to a smaller house. But this meant that Steven Miller had to attend a Santa Monica high school that’s very diverse public high school where he might have otherwise attended a largely white private school, the way that his younger brother later did. And this is when you see Steven Miller starting to express really racist viewpoints while he was listening to Rush Limbaugh, he was listening to his father and he started going around school and telling his class and his Mexican classmates to go back to their countries and to speak English. At one point, he broke up with his Mexican friend, telling him that he could no longer be friends with him because of his Latino heritage. He also was like going to school board meetings to argue passionately against measures to improve racial equity in school. So just very strange stuff that you don’t normally see a teenager getting really involved in. Steven Miller from a very young age was expressing these really passionate beliefs that targeted his brown and black classmates and did his Jewish identity and the identity of his family as having done what his uncle calls chain migration.
S5: Come to this country, you know, generation by generation. Did that influence his thinking about race?
S3: Well, you know, you would think that it did because his grandmother on his mother’s side recorded the family history for him. She writes that she she was recording the family history so that her grandchildren would never forget the value of people who come to this country with nothing but the clothes on their back and speaking no English. And these are the types of people that Steven Miller spent most of his life attacking. So completely disregarding the lessons that his grandmother tried to immortalize for him in these documents.
S5: And so was his father at odds with his mother then on these subjects? So in a way like Steven Miller’s ideology, further the cause of his father’s acrimony with liberals and with black and brown people.
S3: I think it’s possible that, you know, Steven Miller Miller’s beliefs even pushed his his father further to the right. But but as far as with the dynamic between Steven Miller’s mom and Steven Miller’s dad, I’ve often wondered about that. You know, unfortunately, they declined my repeated requests for interviews. But if you look at their real estate properties online, you see Steven Miller’s mother celebrating diversity and celebrating multiculturalism. Like she she she curates the Facebook pages and she goes in there and she brags about the company’s multiculturalism. She uses the term multiculturalism, which is a term that Steven Miller has attacked his entire life as something that poses an existential threat to America. So that’s very interesting to me. At one point, she was giving away free tickets to anyone who came in with proof that they had gone to see the movie Selma about Martin Luther King Jr.. Yeah. So it’s very I’m you know, I’m very I’m not sure what’s going on in that family, but I you know, some emails that I uncovered between Steven Miller’s mom and Steven Miller’s uncle, who has been very critical of Steven Miller, shows Steven Miller’s mom really defending Steven Miller and getting very angry with Steven Miller’s uncle for speaking out against Steven Miller and being a very vocal critic. And she stands up for him. And so it’s very unclear what’s happening in that family. I mean, some relatives that I spoke to say that that Miriam Steven Miller’s mom, she felt like she couldn’t really tell her kids what to do. She was kind of more of like a silent voice in the family, according to these people. So I feel like really like most of the influence on Steve Miller came from his father and from the conservative figures who came into his life during a difficult time and began to radicalize him and further indoctrinate him in these beliefs that pat brown and black people pose an existential threat. One of them being David Horowitz, who I could talk to you about later.
S5: Yes. No, I want to hear about his two mentors. And let’s begin with David Horowitz.
S3: David Horowitz is a former Marxist and who became a conservative writer and essentially teaches young conservatives how to use the language of the civil rights movement to attack the civil rights movement. So I’m painting painting white men as victims of discrimination based on their white skin color and calling people of color racists and oppressors. So really, adverting and deflecting in a very gaslighted way the language of the left. And when Steven Miller was a teenager, he invited David Horowitz to speak at his high school because he had heard about him from a friend. And this is when their relationship really starts. David Horowitz starts inviting Steven Miller over to his house to exchange ideas. David Horowitz, let Steven Miller publish self promotional articles on his website, and he eventually fosters his career, gets him his first jobs in Congress and and then goes on to to feed explosive talking points to the Trump campaign through Miller that you see Trump regurgitating, as well as policies based on private correspondence that I obtained for for the book where I see Horowitz like feeding Steven Miller stuff that Trump would later adopt.
S5: Yeah. So what were some of those things? Because David Horowitz has been around a long time and this policy of inversion, rhetorical inversion, that the real racists are social justice activists. This is arguing it’s been around a long time and there’s even David Duke’s in double a WP, you know, National Association for the Advancement of White People. And so there’s those kind of tricks have been around a long time, but Steven Miller breathed new life into them. How does Steven Miller pervert or amplify the views of David Horowitz?
S3: First of all, I think it’s important to to emphasize that David Horowitz introduced Steven Miller to this fantasy that white men are responsible for everything that we hold dear in society, things like equality and and freedom, which is a historical, obviously, because it ignores the central role that people of color have have played in American history. But but he really, you know, feeds this notion that the only real racism in society today is racism against white people. And so, Steven Miller, I think, first of all, when he was at Duke University, he led David Horowitz’s terrorism awareness project, which is a project that just conflated Muslims and Arabs with terrorists, through through a website that published a self-described Islamophobia books and led to campus events that were criticized as being an Islamophobia tour. So first it started out with very anti-Muslim beliefs. David Horowitz has repeatedly denied Palestinians a right to a national identity. He recently tweeted, There is no Palestine, there are no Palestinians. And so you see Stephen Miller, Duke University attacking the Palestine Solidarity Movement Conference, you know, handing out flyers, conflating Palestinians with terrorists. One of the most concrete effects of the David Horowitz mentorship of Steven Miller was one of the first things that we saw out of the Trump administration, which was the Muslim ban, this travel ban that tries to exclude people from Muslim majority countries and was struck down by the courts and had to be rewritten multiple times before it was able to be held in place. So that’s that’s number one. Secondly, there’s vilification of the Democratic Party as an existential threat to America. So calling them things like using words like far left fascism, using words like unhinged, a left wing mob characterizing antiracist protesters as anarchists and agitators. That’s Steven Miller trying to stir up fear about the Democratic Party because of their alliances with people of color. So there’s a demonization component where he’s demonizing the Democratic Party and but then he’s also demonizing immigrants and Muslims and Mexicans through the language of Donald Trump, inserting extremely vivid, gory descriptions of crimes alleged. Rigidly committed by migrants, you know, talking about, you know, a migrant taking a hammer to crush a woman’s eye sockets and skull, talking about migrants butchering little girls and slashing them with machetes. That’s Steven Miller trying to, you know, rile up fear in the way that David Horowitz taught him to do. Mm hmm. David Horowitz, like he’s the one who told Steven Miller to insist that Trump use terms like radical Islam and radical Islamic terrorism. You see David Horowitz sending Steven Miller emails about this, and then you see Trump using those phrases during his rallies in 2016 and insisting on the importance of calling out, you know, the radical Islamic threat and using this language that is meant to demonize Muslims.
S5: It’s hyper stimulating. I mean, it’s like the math of speech. If I remember right. The radical Islamic terrorism was not only his way of it, Trump’s way of designating. I think Mike Flynn also used it of designating the group that they were going to define themselves against and that they now had teed up the right to obliterate, but also saying that they were saying something that other people wouldn’t say. I mean, essentially, like all of Trump’s policy on dealing with terrorism in the Middle East was defined by, I will say, what everybody’s afraid to say. This is radical Islamic terrorism. And getting in that thing that I think Steven Miller does, too, which is this is the ID, this is what we everybody really knows is true. But everybody that people are too polite or too schoolmarmish or too much prudes to be as clear eyed and rebellious and outlaws and pirates like we are, and the thrill even beyond the ideological, racist, white supremacist ideological core of it, the thrill is that you’re suddenly, you know, one of the Hells Angels or whatever for espousing a very banal form of racism, if violent form of racism. I mean, does that you know, Stephen Miller, he’s like he it seems as though people see him. And I know Trump’s ralliers see Trump as a kind of guilty pleasure.
S3: Exactly. Yeah. I mean, you put it so well. It just reminds me, when he’s in high school, he gives the speech about, like I will say, and I will do things that no one else will say or do. And it was sort of like, you know, what we see we what we see with Trump now and, you know, never, never apologizing, never backing up, always just doubling and tripling down in the way that, you know, Stephen Miller and and Steamrollers dad also have done throughout their lives. And yeah, I mean, it’s just to me, it reminds me of Stephen Miller, his obsession with mobsters. Oh, yeah. What’s that. Yeah. In the book, like, I talk about how he was really into, you know, Martin Scorsese is how you say his name.
S5: Yeah, something like that said, of course, I think someone corrected me recently. And anyway, yes, we both know.
S3: Yeah. His movie Casino. Oh yeah. Where Robert De Niro plays this mobster. Jewish mobster. Right. A Jewish mob. Yeah. Yeah. And Steven Miller would dress up like Robert De Niro’s character in that movie, like with the very bright suits. And he would go to Las Vegas, like Las Vegas is one of it’s one of the most favorite places. And he would go to Las Vegas dressed up as like a mobster and like these brightly colored flamboyant suits, trying to emulate the Robert De Niro character, according according to his good friends. And like it just it just speaks to this idea of like there is no law and order apart from might makes, right?
S5: Yes. Yes. It does seem like the white supremacism and the white nationalism enacted served some purpose for him in kind of consolidating his identity and giving him confidence at a time when he maybe he and his father maybe felt felt somewhat marginalized. I like the idea of a I don’t even know that, you know, when you say they went to a slightly smaller house in Santa Monica, I hope everyone can picture that there is no underclass in Santa Monica, at least no home owning underclass. But anyway, feel slightly marginalized, needs to shore up his identity and does this thing. But the other thing that the book makes makes just blindingly obvious is he’s very eccentric, not to say mentally ill and his some of his behaviors as a child, it would be concerning to parents. How about that? So like the glue or and then later, you know, it is somewhat weird to put on brightly colored suits and try to pose as a gangster when you’re a young man. So tell us about some of the childhood stuff, some of the more disturbing things.
S3: Yeah, I mean, he you know, in Hebrew class students, we’re talking about how to fairly split up a piece of pizza and he just, you know, slapped his hand down on it and ended the conversation by proving that this is how this is how you know. This is how you fairly split up a pizza, I get settled, but Talmudic dispute with.
S3: And like, you know, arguing there was a class discussion about is it is it ethical to steal grapes from a grocery store and see everybody was like, well, no, it’s not ethical. But Steve Miller was like, yes, it is ethical. It’s fine to steal grapes from a grocery store. And so, you know, just weird behavior, but that you wouldn’t really think that much about like you wouldn’t want to define somebody by, like, weird things that they did when they were kids. From my interviews with people, like, he just became more and more consumed by this idea that there’s not enough to go around. And I you know, that there’s this zero sum game that everyone is playing and that the only way to win it is to constantly deprive other people, which is what you see in the immigration policy.
S5: So do you think it was political power that he had his eye on? I mean, as an aspiring ideologue, there were a lot of different directions he could go. I mean, could he ever have imagined that he’d end up with this much political power? And second part, if Trump hadn’t come along. Do you think he would have aspired to edit Breitbart? Might he have run for office himself? What do you think?
S3: Well, so David Horowitz, his mentor, tells me that Steven Miller initially wanted to become a senator. And at one point you actually hear Steven Miller talking about he gives a national TV interview on the Nancy Grace Show, I believe it was in college. And he talks about how his dream is to become a prosecutor and then run for office somewhere. Yeah, I mean, I think he’s always had political aspirations and believed that, you know, getting consumed on this on this ideological mission that would eventually get him there. I spoke to many of his classmates at Duke and in his high school who, even though he was very offensive to people, you know, like writing columns about how racism is a figment of your imagination and attacking multiculturalism, it was offensive to people, but people just kind of rolled their eyes. He seemed so fringe that people thought he could never actually do any real damage. He did, you know, graduate kind of as a pariah. He didn’t have a job. He drifted for a little while in Europe. He went on his birthright trip to Israel with a friend and wasn’t really sure what to do with his life until David Horowitz, you know, came to the rescue again and and got him his first job with Tea Party Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and eventually with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. So really setting him up career wise.
S5: I want to talk about Duke for a second because he also got on the national stage while there. Lately, I’ve seen people asking on Twitter, how is it possible that so many of the kind of gruesome figures around Trump went to Harvard, went to Yale Law School? You know, people like Kris Kobach that I that I until very recently I thought, you know, must be like a remote outlier who, you know, went to some online Turner Diaries school who turns out to have gone to Harvard, gotten a marshal, gone to Oxford and then gone to Yale Law School. So who knows? You know, we’re at a moment where kids in my son’s high school are getting their admissions to college revoked when they’re found to have posted racist stuff on their Instagram. But this was a time where, you know, you start to think that Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Duke felt like they wanted to let in a quota of these people. And there’s no mystery that this was who Steven Miller was even when he applied to Duke. You know? So I don’t know. Like, what do you do you feel like Duke has and other other colleges, you know, that whitewash the reputations of people or make them look much more mainstream than they are? Have any responsibility? Because, you know, Stephen Miller, Duke student, has a lot more credibility than Stephen Miller, Internet troll.
S3: Yeah, I mean, I. I I absolutely think that these institutions played a role in and, you know, Stephen Miller’s rise to power and part of it is because Steven Miller is so skilled at using the arguments of the left against the left, you know, getting his column at Duke University’s newspaper, a regular column at The Chronicle by appealing to desires for diversity, in his case, intellectual diversity. So let’s let this guy come here and south his racist views because it’s different. Yeah. I mean, Stephen Miller has learned from from a very young age how to launder white supremacist ideas through through language that makes them appealing to a mainstream, you know, through the language of heritage and the language of economics and the language of national security. And and it works. It works. The progressive institution, even with progressive institutions like many, many progressive newsrooms across the country, will often whitewash the language to describe things that Trump is doing. I remember one time when when Trump talked about immigrants as animals. Oh, yeah. Which is something that Stephen Miller promotes in his language. You know, people reported on that, including myself. You know, I linked to the clip where he talks about how people are coming to this country and they’re animals. They’re not people, they’re animals. And, you know, I remember getting rebuked by an editor because I was allegedly taking his comments out of context and Trump was actually referring to MS 13, not to immigrants. But if you look at his remarks, he never mentions MS 13. And that’s why, you know, The New York Times and other outlets reported it as he’s he’s talking about immigrants because he says people are coming into this country who they’re not people. These are animals. But there’s this tendency to like in largely white newsrooms and just our our our nation’s storytellers in general to have an easier time putting themselves in the shoes of someone like Donald Trump, a white man, and giving him the benefit of the doubt, because we are so steeped in narratives where the white male perspective is central and dominant. And this is something that shaped Stephen Miller’s thinking and his ability to to empathize and kind of, you know, excuse a lot of misbehavior in in white males that he looked up to, whereas humanises brown and black people who do the same or much less or nothing at all and then allows them I mean, that story is very powerful and then allows everyone to dismiss any moral claims, claims on them or say that they’re not binding on them because they’re invented.
S5: There is no racism and multiculturalism as some kind of liberal fiction. And all of this is elitist. And if you’re true, you know, Teuton Warrior of the forest and whatever they’re calling themselves these days, the Nordic cultures or Aryans, then you will struggle this off. You’re right about the liberal newsrooms, the number of times I’ve had to, you know, pull back on, you know, Trump is an alleged sexual harasser. You know, I mean, we’ve essentially seen him do that from the dais. And yet, like, you know, however many people have witnessed it or however many people heard him say on Howard Stern this and that, about women’s bodies, we’re still meant to say alleged as though as if until we submit it to, you know, a coded male courtroom and it’s set in stone forever. It’s not something we can say that we observed with our own eyes. And, you know, you make a great point about the use of that word animals. You’re very strange to see editors do that.
S3: Yeah, it is strange. And it’s why part of the reason why Trump has been able to get so much power and why they’ve been able to implement a white nationalist agenda and have it be called an agenda for national security or an agenda for for protecting the American economy. Yeah, because the media is complicit and in many cases willing to go along with this narrative. And part of it has to do with like people just haven’t done enough research. And that’s why I think it’s so important to connect the dots between what they’re doing and what they’re saying and where, you know, what they’re motivating influences are and where they’re pulling these ideas from. And that’s what I try to do in the book, you know, showing Stephen Miller pulling immigration policies straight from, you know, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which was created by John Tintern like a eugenicist in white supremacist who believes in population control for non-white people and believed in the genetic superiority of whites. But they knew that they couldn’t mainstream these views if they made them about skin color and race. And so they tried to make them about heritage and, you know, economics and national security. And it’s been effective. I mean, these think tanks are used, you know, in. Congress is, as experts and journalists often quote them, to provide, quote unquote, balance in their stories. But this is, you know, this is where our immigration policy is coming from. It is coming from organizations that believe in population control for non-white people.
S5: Do you remember that years ago, the Atlantic ran a very unpopular story about how dogs don’t love us. They just simulate they just, you know, do what they can to get food from us. And they found that a way that they can bark or smile or whatever to give us a feeling of love. So we will do anything for them. So they’re like the best treated people, animals in the kingdom. And I think they called them wolves exploiting an ecological niche. And it didn’t go over very well with dog lovers. But sometimes when I think about white nationalism, I know that there’s a kernel, of course, of you know, when you go to sleep at night, Stephen Miller is thinking that his whole identity and safety is predicated on his whiteness and generations of white people and whatever Santamonica Jewish immigrant, some aspirational heritage he aims to preserve. But it seems like there’s another part of racists like him and and David Duke, who just found a niche, you know, and like even after they stop talking about the facts of of scientific racism or whatever else, they just are constantly talking about strategy for whitewashing their beliefs. And David Horowitz is the same. Just, you know, the case for racism has eluded them and now it’s or it has they’ve lost interest in it. And they clearly don’t think that there’s some great threat from Mexican workers to American. You know, Carnegie Hall, like, I still don’t understand how do they define American heritage? What are the things that they’re missing? But in any case, obviously, all that is just smoke and mirrors, but that there’s a set of strategies and a kind of pop propaganda strategy, which is all there is. It’s just how can I, you know, David, do this looking further, this idea, but also get some power for yourself? I think he can’t get a place on the op ed page or the page in Duke at Duke by being, you know, another center left college student. But he can this other way. It’s like, you know, an ecological niche for a for a wolf.
S3: Yeah. I mean, his classmates and his friends, people who knew him well when he was a young man tell me that they think that he it started out as a way of of just getting attention and standing out and feeling special because he he he couldn’t find any other way to do it. And then it just it just starts to consume him and become inseparable from his identity. And yeah. I mean, like, that’s how how he’s gotten so much power in the White House is like he’s just laser focused on the immigration issue and finding ways to push it through, you know, outside of the bureaucracy, disregarding the inputs of national security experts to really ram this through.
S5: Do you think that is his focus and sort of monomania around the subject? Is that part of the way that he’s survived so many elimination rounds in the White House that, you know, he’s he’s outlasted Steve Bannon by, you know, at least he’s been there at least twice as long now. And and, you know, and and Jeff Sessions and other eminent racists who Trump quarreled with or felt were insufficiently loyal or, you know, trying to get more attention than they deserved. And somehow, Stephen Miller, he’s just not the one I would have picked as the last survivor, probably the most fringe, his the most fringe.
S3: And I think he is the most fanatical. I think there’s a part of him that that kind of knows this isn’t true. But out of everyone in the White House, he’s the one most inclined to actually convince himself of this stuff and that what he’s doing is for some, you know, for some mission to save the U.S. from some kind of apocalypse. But I think yeah, I mean, part of it is Steven Miller has always been comfortable in Trump’s shadow. He never gets out ahead of him and or at least tries not to. And and, you know, unlike Steve Bannon and others who were obsessed with media attention and kind of exaggerating their their role in the White House, Steve Miller has always kind of done the opposite and tried to downplay it and cast himself as a more devoted vehicle for Trump’s agenda. So he’s really good at, you know, the the bureaucracy and figuring out and the relationships and the networking and just figuring out, OK, what do I need to do to to stick around and and be the longest lasting and most powerful adviser in the White House, which he is outside of the president’s own family? Mm hmm. The other thing about him is that he has consistently pushed Trump in the most aggressive direction on immigration. And this is some. Saying that Trump has come to appreciate because every time that he listens to a more moderate adviser, you know, like Jared Kushner on immigration, he ends up getting ridiculed by his base as weak. And Trump hates that. You know, he wants to be seen as a killer. He’s repeatedly said that. He says that being a killer in society is important. And, you know, Steven Miller shares his instincts for for for violence and for being seen as a killer. And Trump has found that whenever he listens to Steven Miller pushing these really performative, cruel policies, his hardcore base gets really excited. And Trump thinks that he needs that for re-election in 2020. So you see him leaning more and more on this extremist.
S5: I mean, this is incredibly enlightening because I don’t think I’d quite realized how much Steven Miller was the kernel of his Trump’s appeal to his base that, you know, just he’s right on build a wall cage kids, Muslim ban. I mean, all that is, is all that just goes to the heart of what what Trump supporters and certainly the ralliers like to hear about. That’s the red meat. Just to bring us up to the present moment, you know, you talked about the Muslim ban somewhat about the wall, the cage and kids policies, family separations, all things for which Steven Miller does to me seem to have blood on his hands. Now, there’s proposals was a little bit around the edges. It’s kind of crazy idea that’s reminiscent of Trump’s attack on the so-called squad. I don’t know if they’re still called that, but to go back to their countries that that Latin Americans, even American citizens may be somehow, quote, sent home in some effort to rid the country of coronavirus is very far fetched. But that sounds like Stephen Miller to me.
S3: Yeah. I mean, Steven Miller is definitely behind this policy. And, you know, every policy targeting people who for the most part, when you look at the whole of his policies, they disproportionately affect people who haven’t broken any laws. So, you know, the suspension of green cards, the slashing refugee admissions to near historic lows every year, the family separation policy, which in some cases targeted people who committed the misdemeanor of illegal entry. But, you know, for the most part, these are asylum seekers, in many cases presenting at ports of entry, trying to come in the legal way, you know, with evidence that they’re being persecuted at home and being turned away. Now, because of Steven Miller’s policies, like the migrant protection protocols, which, you know, forces people to await their court hearings in Mexico instead of in the United States and other measures that have been taken, especially since the pandemic, just completely shutting off the asylum system at the US Mexico border. And, yes, all all of this is Stephen Miller. When whenever you see someone being targeted, especially families being targeted because of their status or because of where they come from or because of where their families come from, that’s Steven Miller. Steven Miller doesn’t care so much about, you know, the cartels. There’s this division of ice that has been really sidelined, the Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement that is very focused on, you know, stopping human trafficking, stopping, you know, counterterrorism efforts, counternarcotics and all of these efforts, you know, including the Department of Homeland Security, is supposed to also protect people from public health crises. All of these things have been sidelined for Steven Miller’s obsession with civil immigration issues. So keeping out families because worried that they’re going to reproduce too much in the United States, you know, these these very racist beliefs about what will happen if if these families come here.
S6: My guest has been Gene Guerrero. She’s the author of Hate Monger Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda. Jeanne, thank you so much for being here. This was really good. Thank you so much. It was my pleasure. That’s it for today’s show. What do you think? Give us your five star reviews on Apple podcasts and your blowback on Twitter. I’m at page eighty eight. The show is at Real Dreamcast.
S5: Our show today was produced by Melissa Kaplan and engineered by Richard Stanislao.
S6: I’m Virginia Heffernan. Thanks for listening to Dreamcast.