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by Micah J. Fleck
The Heritage Foundation has claimed libertarian bro points for years now, largely due to their free speech and second amendment stances on the issues. However, a closer look at the Washington-based think tank will also reveal that Heritage has been unable to let go of its extreme cultural puritanism and prejudice against rights for gay people, an advocacy for war overseas as a means of liberation, and other scattered views that do not read as very libertarian at all. So while Heritage is not the libertarian’s enemy, it certainly isn’t a complete ally to liberty in all facets of political issues. A bit of a mixed bag.
Well, there might possibly be some hope that this will change soon, as the foundation’s president, former Republican senator from South Carolina Jim DeMint, is expected to be edged out of his position by an unhappy board of directors.
According to the Washington Examiner report on the matter:
Three sources with knowledge of the situation tell the Washington Examiner that DeMint no longer has the support of Heritage’s board of directors.
It’s not clear when DeMint will leave. The board of directors is set to meet at the Foundation’s Capitol Hill campus on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, President Trump mentioned DeMint as he praised conservative leaders during a Friday afternoon speech at the NRA’s convention in Atlanta. “From Heritage, Jim DeMint, it’s been amazing. I mean, those people have been fantastic.”
As for the specific reasons for this, we have no concrete details, but if one would want to start cleaning up one’s image and get more with the times, a Trump endorsement might be the straw to break said camel’s back and push a decision to rebrand over the edge.
With a name like “The Heritage Foundation,” however, these guys aren’t exactly branded progressives. So ultimately, this was likely not completely the reason. Another report has claimed that DeMint is being ousted because he wanted to lobby with sleazy politician types just like his good old days in office, which the board felt contradicted the more transparent vision of the think tank’s founders.
“Basically he treated the place like it was his giant Senate office,” said one source quoted in the story.
“That ended up being a significant departure from the vision set out by the board and Feulner,” the source added, referencing Edwin Feulner, a founding trustee of the organization who previously served as its president.
Hopefully it will ultimately choose to be the best decision for both parties, however.