Tom Tancredo

Conservatives are in danger of letting left wing groups define their own agenda. A slew of far left groups led by Al Sharpton, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the People for the American Way are attacking for CPAC for having a panel featuring immigration and financial journalist Peter Brimelow and Robert Vandervoort of Pro English.

Lacking from these attacks is anything that either man actually said themselves. Instead most smears consist of nothing more than a long web of supposed connections to “white nationalist” groups are made. The worst thing they could come up with against Robert Vandervoort was that he allegedly affiliated with a group called Chicago Friends of American Renaissance that was allegedly affiliated the Council of Conservative Citizens. Then a controversial statement that appeared on the Council’s website is shown.

No one is saying that Vandervoort ever endorsed what the Council wrote or did, or that he was even a member. Instead, he is tenuously linked to this group. Not mentioned is that many prominent politicians can be much more directly linked. Among the people who have spoken before the Council of Conservative Citizens Senator are Senators Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, Jesse Helms, Governor Haley Barbour, Senator Roger Wicker, and even former Democratic House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt.

While I have worked with board and staff members at Pro-English for years, I have never met Robert Vandervoort. Therefore, I will qualify that if it turns out that he has or done or said something that is actually hateful, he should be denounced. However, these left wing smear groups have not even pretended to come up with such evidence. Until they do, conservatives should stand by him, or at the very least not pile on the left wing attacks.

While I had not heard of Vandervoort until a few days ago, I’ve known Peter Brimelow for many years. I can assure readers of Townhall that he is a patriot, not a racist. As senior editor at National Review in the 1990s, Peter nearly singlehandedly restarted the debate on immigration with his bestselling book Alien Nation.

Tom Tancredo

Tom Tancredo represented Colorado's 6th Congressional District from 1999 until 2009 where he chaired the 100+ member bipartisan Immigration Reform Caucus. He currently serves as co-chairman of Team America PAC and president of the Rocky Mountain Foundation. He authored "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security.