Perennial oddball Stephen Miller is one of the most appalling members of president Trump's White House. The senior advisor for policy has been the chief architect of president Trump's cruel immigration policies, including Trump's travel ban that targeted Muslims, and separating immigrant children from their parents at US borders.
Miller, who is of Jewish descent, was crucified by his own uncle in Politico today for essentially betraying the history of his own family by engaging in fascistic policies that would have prevented his own family from entering America.
In a powerful piece that should be read in full, David S. Glosser recounts the story of Miller's ancestors who fled the vicious anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia in the early 20th century with virtually no money and came to America to build a life for themselves. This family history has been ignored by his nephew, who continues subjecting immigrants attempting to come to the United States to unimaginable cruelty. Writes Glosser:
I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, who is an educated man and well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.
I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses— the travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents, and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants— been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom. The Glossers came to the U.S. just a few years before the fear and prejudice of the “America First” nativists of the day closed U.S. borders to Jewish refugees. Had Wolf-Leib waited, his family would likely have been murdered by the Nazis along with all but seven of the 2,000 Jews who remained in Antopol. I would encourage Stephen to ask himself if the chanting, torch-bearing Nazis of Charlottesville, whose support his boss seems to court so cavalierly, do not envision a similar fate for him.
Glosser takes Miller and Trump to task for refusing to acknowledge the very obvious fact that their own families were immigrants who came to America for a better life (as far as we know, neither Miller or Trump have any Native American ancestry). He writes:
President Trump wants to make us believe that these desperate migrants are an existential threat to the United States; the most powerful nation in world history and a nation made strong by immigrants. Trump and my nephew both know their immigrant and refugee roots. Yet, they repeat the insults and false accusations of earlier generations against these refugees to make them seem less than human. Trump publicly parades the grieving families of people hurt or killed by migrants, just as the early Nazis dredged up Jewish criminals to frighten and enrage their political base to justify persecution of all Jews. Almost every American family has an immigration story of its own based on flight from war, poverty, famine, persecution, fear or hopelessness. These immigrants became the workers, entrepreneurs, scientists and soldiers of America.
Most damning is the administration's evident intent to make policy that specifically disadvantages people based on their ethnicity, country of origin, and religion. No matter what opinion is held about immigration, any government that specifically enacts law or policy on that basis must be recognized as a threat to all of us.
The wording of Glosser's piece is clear and unsparing -- he regards his nephew as a fascist working for a racist thug. To label the Trump administration as a "threat to all of us," Glosser is letting his nephew know that he has brought shame upon his family and shame upon his ancestors. It is a public flaying of an extraordinary magnitude when you think about it -- it is not normal to see public officials compared to Nazis by their own family members. But then this is the Trump era where norms are disintegrated on almost an hourly basis, and the creep towards all out fascism becoming more blatant by the day.
The fact that Miller is of Jewish descent does make his hostility towards other immigrants all the more galling. One would think that an awareness of one's family history would lead to at least some feelings of empathy towards those currently going through the same traumatic process. But then that is why Trump hired someone as sociopathically cruel as Stephen Miller. Because he simply doesn't care.