I went back and forth on today’s official Sunday read.
For awhile, the leading candidate was Laurie Penny’s profile of conservative troll Milo Yiannopoulos and how his nihilist worldview has become the norm among a certain subset of conservatives — some provocateurs, others dead serious — many of whom were early backers of Donald Trump. The piece features guest appearances from Dutch reactionary leader Geert Wilders and “Stop Islamization of America” co-founder Pamela Geller, and you should read it anyway.
But the Sunday read I’m going with is a Politico profile of Stephen Miller, the man who wrote Trump’s RNC acceptance speech — the one that my friend Harry Siegel called “midnight in America.”
The Politico story, written by Julia Ioffe (who’s already crossed swords with the Trump movement thanks to her GQ profile of Melania Trump), traces Miller’s arc from a misfit conservative son of Jewish Democrats who clashed with the administration at his left-wing Santa Monica, California, high school, to Duke University columnist, David Horowitz acolyte and communications director for Sen. Jeff Sessions.
A talented writer, he’s been part of Trump’s campaign since January, though his informal ties go back much earlier.
Miller comes across as part oddball — he favors JFK-style narrow-lapel suits — part wonk, part catastrophist and part cool observer. In a different life he may have adapted Hal Lindsey books for Irwin Allen.
Instead he’s pumping blood into Trump’s red meat, and increasingly serving as a key aide to the nominee. (He does warm-ups at Trump rallies, too.) In a campaign in which Newt Gingrich, Paul Manafort and Ivanka Trump are all jockeying for the candidate’s ear, Miller — with his fleshed-out vision and knack for imagery — is someone to keep an eye on.
You can read Ioffe’s story here. Thanks to L.S. for the tip.