Nativists have organized off-site and will be nearby for this week’s convention
Conservatives across the country are getting ready today for the first day of the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Noting the lack of white nationalist and anti-Muslim speakers this year, The Daily Beast’s Dean Obeidallah asked, “Is CPAC Getting Less Crazy?” While many of the “crazy” names will not appear on any official CPAC agenda, far-Right extremists have organized off-site events nearby and continue to have a presence at the nation’s largest conservative gathering.
These events and gatherings make evident that, while nativists, conspiracy theorists, and white nationalists have become increasingly ostracized by CPAC organizers and other mainstream political circles, they are still committed to influencing conservatives in America.
The most prominent of these events will be the “National Security Action Summit” co-sponsored by EMPact America and Breitbart News. Also being billed as “The Uninvited II,” the one-day summit is the natural progression of a similar “uninvited” panel at CPAC last year. The summit will occur today in a nearby hotel and will feature fringe activists on the far-Right that CPAC organizers have wisely attempted to distance themselves from in recent years. Anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney will moderate the event and those participating in summit’s panels include anti-Muslim activists Andrew McCarthy, former Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Notably absent are anti-Muslim firebrands Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer who are preparing for the Stop Islamization of Nations symposium in Australia this weekend.
While those panelists will discuss a litany of topics and conspiracies that serve as a launch pad for anti-Muslim demagoguery, representatives of the anti-immigrant movement will also have a panel to espouse the nativist views that are part and parcel of their agenda. NumbersUSA Director of Government Affairs Rosemary Jenks and Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Executive Director Mark Krikorian will participate on a panel called “Amnesty and Open Borders: The End of America – and the GOP” with Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly. Given the panel’s title, a discussion — likely rife with racial anxiety — of the Eagle Forum’s latest report suggesting Republicans should commit more resources to increasing white voter turnout instead of minority outreach is virtually guaranteed.
Committed white nationalists will be holding their own off-site events. The National Policy Institute (NPI) announced will be holding an “Unconference” tomorrow at an undisclosed venue near the CPAC hotel. After CPAC 2012 included a panel hosted by the white nationalist student group Youth for Western Civilization, white nationalists have become increasingly excluded from CPAC events. That, however, was not enough to prevent white nationalists Matthew Heimbach and Scott Terry from disrupting a presentation on minority outreach with a favorable assessment of slavery in the Confederate South.
This year, NPI and other like-minded individuals will gather for a dinner featuring white nationalist stalwart Jared Taylor. “This is a chance for our movement to have a real presence at a major forum for ideas (and perhaps mug a few conservatives with reality),” NPI President Richard Spencer wrote. “And more important, it’s a chance for us to network and talk about our future.”
Both white nationalist and nativist activists have attempted to influence conservatives over the years with varying degrees of the success. John Derbyshire, the white nationalist who was fired from the conservative National Review and now writes regularly for VDARE.com recently told The Washington Times Communities that he is skeptical of outreach efforts and predicted, “the future of the conservative movement is as a home for white ethnocentrism.”
As conservatives across the country gather at CPAC this weekend, they must increasingly resist these efforts from the far-Right to influence their movement. If not, their movement will devolve into little more than a haven for extremists motivated by bigotry.