Tradephobia: The Far Left's Common Cause with Stephen Miller and White Supremacists


It has been a known fact for some time that Stephen Miller, the White House advisor who is majorly responsible for setting and defending Trump’s immigration policies, is a white nationalist. What continues to be revealing is the extent of Miller’s white supremacy, racism, and xenophobia.

The Southern Poverty Law Center released a report on Tuesday based on email conversations between Stephen Miller and Breitbart’s news crew, in particular with a Breitbart staff writer at the time by the name of Katie McHugh. McHugh, who has since denounced the alt-Right, leaked 900 emails between herself, other Bretibart staff including Steve Bannon, and Miller to SPLC.

Keep an eye on SPLC’s coverage, as the country’s pre-eminent anti-hate group continues to release more emails and expose Miller.

Stephen Miller, for what it’s worth, is not a racist of convenience. He is a true believer, it is clear from SPLC’s report, in things like eugenics and racial purity - the kind espoused by Adolf Hitler. This is not an exaggeration: Hitler drew inspiration from the 1924 American immigration law that excluded immigrants from certain countries, as did Stephen Miller. He is truly afraid of ‘race-mixing’ and non-white immigration and refugees.

There is another thing, though, that motivates Stephen Miller’s hate with all the intensity of 10,000 white-hot suns. On this item, he is closely aligned with the self-styled “progressive” Left: tradephobia, and specifically, opposition to the major trade deal President Obama had negotiated, the Transpacific Partnership.

Miller’s opposition to the TPP came against the backdrop of a racist rant against Amazon for removing confederate flag products from their platform. Miller and McHugh engaged in an email thread on how offensive it was that Amazon and other retailers would be removing American “historic artifact(s)” while still allowing the sale of “commie” artwork and messages - like how women should work (!!).

McHugh, June 23, 2015, 5:07 p.m. ET: “I’m going to go full Info Wars here: It’s not a coincidence that in the midst of pushing the US-ending trade deal, we’re seeing a historic artifact of real America be demonized and destroyed.”

Miller, June 23, 2015, 5:11 p.m. ET: “I betcha they also sell lots of che gueverra garb too.”

This “US-ending trade deal” is, of course, the aforementioned Transpacific Partnership (TPP), which the far Right felt was just another step by President Obama to endanger American sovereignty (a term they frequently also apply to immigration) and American jobs. Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the multilateral deal that would have allowed American values to set the standards for trade across 40% of the global economy in a single trade deal (and you know, actually fight Chinese aggression).

The TPP was universally and equally despised among the the far Right and the far Left. Although most narratives attribute the oppositions from the ideological corners to different motivations - the Right because they were against anything Obama did and the Left because of their “concerns” about discredited conspiracy theories about dispute resolution - I have long made the case that tradephobia is the Left’s acceptable version of xenophobia. The majority of the partners in TPP would have been Latin American and Asian countries, and therefore, we could not have it.

Notably, the “progressive” left-wing propaganda against TPP distilled down to two distinct points strikingly and substantially in agreement with the racist alt-Right: concern-trolling about American sovereignty because an international trade deal imagined - gasp - a limited international dispute resolution process, and, much more importantly, the fear of “American” jobs being lost. Given that the TPP was about lifting the employment and environmental standards in Asian and Latin American countries, the fear of job losses can only be justified if one believes that Americans - particularly, white Americans - should not have to compete, even on a level playing field, with workers in other - and particularly non-white - countries.

The only difference between tradephobia and xenophobia - which is the irrational fear of immigrants - is the geographic location of non-whites. Thus, the difference, at least from a liberal perspective, is stylistic and not substantive.

A similar agreement with the European Union, known as the Transatlatic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) not only barely received a peep against it from both ends of the ideological dogma scale, it was in negotiations well into 2018 until the EU got fed up with Trump’s tariffs.

The predominant argument, then, both from the Right and the Left against the TPP, converged to being substantially the same as the terms used in Miller-Breitbart exchanges: the view of the TPP as a “US-ending trade deal” because it supposedly threatened US sovereignty" and white jobs.

For anyone on the Left, the question must be raised as to why the anti-trade rhetoric of the far Left is so similar in nature and substance to white nationalist individuals and publications. It is proper to ask why the opposition to free trade - especially when free trade enjoys broad, two-to-one public support - is such a passionate area of convergence for the likes of Stephen Miller and Elizabeth Warren alike, why it triggers such agreement between Breitbart and self-proclaimed progressive outlet The Young Turks.

Perhaps more importantly, the question is whether a position and justifications espoused by Stephen Miller and Breitbart - and those on the self-styled Left espousing exactly the same positions on essentially the same terms - should even be considered ‘liberal.’