Nativism Watch

Extremists to take stage this weekend at Values Voter Summit

Imagine 2050 Staff • Sep 26, 2014
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at the 2013 Values Voters Summit.

Conservative figures and members of the religious right will once again convene in Washington, D.C., this weekend for the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voters Summit.

As always, the event’s agenda will focus on the importance of keeping religion (read: Christianity) in society and will feature favorites among the religious right and Tea Party circles. This includes a handful of U.S. legislators such as Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and Reps. Michele Bachmann and Frank Wolf.

Similar to past years, the organized nativist movement will also be represented at this year’s summit, which begins today and ends Sunday. One of the featured speakers, for example, will be anti-Muslim demagogue Brigitte Gabriel. Gabriel is the founder and president of ACT! for America, an organization that serves as the grassroots arm for the Islamophobia movement. Gabriel and ACT!’s mission is to portray Muslims as an omnipresent, monolithic threat plotting to overthrow and to replace the U.S. government with a radical Islamic regime.

In addition, the flagship anti-immigrant organization, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), will be sponsoring an exhibition booth at the summit. FAIR was founded by white nationalist John Tanton and is now under the leadership of Dan Stein. The group continues to try to inject its nativist agenda into the mainstream immigration debate. This is done by lobbying for and drafting anti-immigrant legislation, all while coordinating a network of seemingly independent state level groups.

Attracting extremists seems to be par the course for Values Voters Summit. Previously, the event has attracted such unsavory characters as Frank Gaffney and the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish.

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