Here are some excerpts from a 2017 article about Stephen Miller from the LA Times that sheds a lot of light into his psyche:
Too-cool-for-school upper-class students at Santa Monica High scoffed when administrators in 2002 reinstated a daily recitation of the pledge of allegiance.
Most students in the liberal enclave slouched in their chairs and chatted over the morning ritual, which was widely viewed as a throwback to an American patriotism that seemed outdated in the multicultural mash-up of L.A.'s Westside.
Not Stephen Miller. Every day, the student body's best-known and least-liked conservative activist stood at his desk, put his hand over his heart and declared his love of country.
That solitary rebellion of Santa Monica conventionalism was an affront to the left-leaning sensitivities of many on the campus, making him a nerd to some, a provocateur to others.
How the People's Republic of Santa Monica, as the city is sometimes jokingly called, gave rise to the skinny-suited man now at Donald Trump's side is as much a story about one teen's intellectual tenacity as it is about the backlash to liberalism at the turn of the millennium.
The culturally sensitive environment at Samohi infuriated and ultimately shaped Miller, 31, now a senior advisor to Trump who is helping to draft this week's inaugural address and will have a coveted West Wing office.
Yet that robust progressive tradition nurtured Miller's rise, teaching him how to fight for his beliefs, even if it meant he had to stand alone, in his tennis shorts and polo shirts, as he often did.
"These challenges were some of the toughest I faced in life," Miller said in an interview. "When we think of nonconformity, we tend to imagine kids in the '60s rebelling against the system.' This was my system. My establishment was a dogmatic educational system that often uniformly expressed a single point of view."
In a 2002 letter to the editor of a Santa Monica news website, Miller bemoaned "the rampant political correctness" at Samohi, including condom giveaways and Spanish-language announcements that he considered "a crutch ... preventing Spanish speakers from standing on their own. As politically correct as this may be, it demeans the immigrant population as incompetent, and makes a mockery of the American ideal of personal accomplishment," he wrote.
Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village), who was the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District's board president at the time, remembered Miller showing up at events in coat and tie " "unlike any other student" " to argue against special treatment for immigrants and others.
"He had very conservative views " the exact opposite of what we were trying to accomplish in the school district," she said.
The more opposition he faced, the more Miller dug in. "He was very brave at the time, when you consider the pressures on him," said David Horowitz, who introduced Miller to Sessions.
But in Miller's telling of those days, he was trying to unify the campus, by resisting defining students by their differences and instead by their commonality as Americans.
Some of that rhetoric was echoed in the Trump campaign.
"That Stephen Miller would take the playbook he used to provoke Santa Monica High School students and turn into becoming one of the most powerful people in the country, I think that's something nobody saw coming," Rosmarin said.