By Michael Barone (@michaelbarone) •
Published: 12/12/16 – 9:27 AM
One way to look at the election of Donald Trump is that it is a repudiation of the cult of political correctness that thrives — metastasizes might be a better word — on college and university campuses. One particularly egregious example, the bogus prosecution of Duke University lacrosse players in 2006 and 2007, seems to have had particular reverberations in producing election results this year, a decade later. For a definitive account of the disgraceful behavior of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, Duke President Richard Brodhead and dozens of members of the Duke faculty, see KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor’s book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.
One of the few Duke undergraduates to protest this injustice was Stephen Miller of the class of 2007. Miller grew up in trendy liberal Santa Monica, Calif., and, at least according to Wikipedia, became a conservative after reading Wayne LaPierre’s Guns, Crime and Freedom. Miller wrote multiple articles in the Duke Chronicle and spoke in multiple cable news programs criticizing the prosecutor and Duke administrators. After graduating from Duke, Miller worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill, from 2009 to 2015 for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions. I met Miller when he accompanied Sessions to one of David Horowitz’s November gatherings at the Breakers in Palm Beach; he struck me as bright, dedicated and determined. In 2015 he left Sessions’s staff with Session’s hearty approval (as the senator told me on the floor of the Republican National Convention) to work for Trump’s campaign.
Miller has been the speechwriter for Trump’s major speeches and has given warm-up speeches at many Trump rallies. He should certainly be on the list of the top 10 — maybe top five — Trump advisers sharing responsibility for his victory. I assume he will have a major job in the Trump White House — which would be a pretty astonishing rise for a man who was writing dissenting articles in the Duke Chronicle just 10 years ago. Did his role in the Duke lacrosse players controversy hone his talents and strengthen his determination? It’s hard to imagine that the answers to these questions are anything else but yes.
To read expanded column, click here.