Bast the Magnificent

From a June 2005 article written by Heartland Institute President Joseph L. Bast:

Libertarian ideas, such as expanding individual liberty, re-limiting government, and protecting private property rights, have become much more respectable during the past two decades. Less progress, however, appears to be taking place in politics. Nevertheless, I predict the President of the United States elected in 2016 will be the candidate of the Libertarian Party.

I’m sure your initial reaction was similar to mine… “Uhh… riiiiiight.”

Bast supports this prediction by citing examples of Libertarian ideas being advanced domestically and around the world, President Bush’s 48 references to “free,” “freedom,” and “liberty” in his second inaugural address (Really?) and forecasting a collapse of the two party system.

Bast believes the Democrats will split resulting in the formation of a new party:

Between now and 2008, I predict the Democratic Party will split into radical and moderate wings. The Michael Moore wing of the party is tired of losing and being taken for granted by the moderate wing of their party.


This new party, probably called the Progressive Party, will lose the 2008 presidential election, but millions of people will vote for a third-party candidate for the first time.

Bast peers further into his occluded crystal ball and predicts that the Republican Party will also split:

By 2012, the Republican Party will split because once their Democrat foes have divided, there is no reason for cultural conservatives and libertarians to stay in the same party. Freed from the burden of defending government intervention in the name of religious values, the new Libertarian Party also will attract former Democrats and even some Progressives (the smart ones).

Personally I don’t see the two party split happening. The “black or white” mindset of this country (“With us or against us,” “Conservative or Liberal,” etc.) is concrete and reinforced by a media that caters to this concept. Hey, with only two sides trying to make a point you get exciting back and forth commentary and flashy red and blue backgrounds and cool donkey and elephant transition graphics… Why throw a wrench in the machine?

Of course Bast tosses in a few “cover your ass” caveats in the end like permanent ballot status, a large and growing LP membership base, professional staff that is experienced and honest, a good reputation for running credible candidates and positive campaigns… Or what I like to call the “Duh-stuff.” As in “DUH, this stuff is obvious, isn’t it?”

A Libertarian president in 2016? Kind of hard to see with my current Libertarian Party goggles on.

  1. “President Bush’s 48 references to “free,” “freedom,” and “liberty” in his second inaugural address (Really?)” Yeah. Really. Helps to listen sometimes. ;)