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Trump Inauguration Has Strong Santa Monica Connection  

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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

January 18, 2017 -- When Donald Trump gives his presidential inauguration speech on Friday, he will have had plenty of input from a Santa Monica High School alumnus.

It’s an odd situation for Santa Monica, famous for its left-leaning (some would say far-left) politics, to have such a strong connection to the opening day of the Trump presidency.

But the man helping pen Trump's speech is anything but usual Santa Monica.

Stephen Miller, now 30, has received significant media attention for his role on the Trump team.

He was the “warm-up act” for the president-elect during campaign speeches and has smoothed into the role of senior adviser. Being the main writer for the inauguration speech is his biggest role yet.

But long before Miller was transitioning into a major player in Washington D.C., he was taking on what he considered to be the “the rampant political correctness” at Samohi.

As a Samohi junior, Miller wrote about this battle in a March 2002 letter to The Lookout (“Political Correctness out of Control,” March 27, 2002) that not surprisingly had several detractors.

He described Samohi as a school where “Osama bin Laden would feel very welcome” while political correctness and anti-American sentiment ruled.

Among the many issues addressed in the letter were students lacking “basic English skills" (he noted there were “few” Hispanic kids in his honors classes), condom distribution to students that he said inappropriately promoted teen sex, a gay club on campus that helped “foster” homosexuality and one that really bothered him--the temporary stop to the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in classrooms.

He also complained about the mainstream view of American history at Samohi, which he said made the United States soldiers look bad for killing people, including a large number of native people.

“I suppose then, that our country would have been better off if our soldiers never killed anyone, and we watched as our nation was obliterated by the evil in the world, as we sung songs of peace and love,” Miller wrote.

He continued, “Or, better yet, we could have lived with the Indians, learning how to finger paint and make tepees, excusing their scalping of frontiersmen as part of their culture.”

Miller concluded the piece with a plea for support: “If you feel, like me, that political correctness has crossed the line, call the school or the district. Ask them to leave their liberal agendas at the front gate. Enough politics, it's time for common sense.”

It’s unclear how much support Miller received on that final plea. People associated with the school at the time say he was mostly an outsider, although a vocal one who got noticed.

But, like his boss, Miller got a reaction from people angry about his words.

Among those who contacted The Lookout following the publication of Miller’s letter was Linda Sullivan, longtime Santa Monica activist.

“As smart as Stephen Miller is, I'm sure he knows that he is the one who is politically correct and his point of view dominates in American society today; in fact it always has,” Sullivan wrote.

She continued, "So stop worrying, Stephen. You rule. The rest of us are just speaking out of turn. Dubbya may I?”

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