How Right-Wing Groups Are Plotting To Implement Trump’s Authoritarianism
Project 2025 is an out-in-the-open scheme to steer the US toward far-right autocracy.
Washington, DC, Bureau Chief
There is an authoritarian danger that threatens American democracy. It is a separate peril from Donald Trump and his tens of millions of rabid supports. It is the right-wing infrastructure that is publicly plotting to undermine the checks and balances of our constitutional order and concentrate unprecedented power in the presidency. Its efforts, if successful and coupled with a Trump (or other GOP) victory in 2024, would place the nation on a path to autocracy.
Trump’s desire to be a strongman ruler are no secret. He has repeatedly uttered statements that reveal a craving to be in total control of the US government. As he mounts a second campaign for the White House, his team has openly discussed his plans to consolidate government power in the White House should he win. The New York Times recently reported that his crew aims “to alter the balance of power by increasing the president’s authority over every part of the federal government that now operates, by either law or tradition, with any measure of independence from political interference by the White House.” The Washington Post ran a story in April headlined, “Trump touts authoritarian vision for second term.”
These plans include altering the rules governing the civil service so that tens of thousands of federal workers—maybe more—would be subject to immediate dismissal by the White House. That would mean that Trump could fire employees at federal agencies who do not pledge their loyalty to Trump—or who question the legality or appropriateness of White House directives. Say, Trump or an underling orders the IRS to audit the tax returns of a political foe and an IRS career official objects, that person could be pink-slipped.
Yet this effort to reshape the US government extends far beyond the fevered fantasies of one failed casino owner and his henchmen and henchwomen. Much of the right-wing establishment—including its leading think tanks and policy shops—are part of the attempt to concentrate federal power in the hands of Trump or another Republican president.
The Center for Renewing America is merely a small piece of the right’s let’s-go-authoritarian operation. Dozens of conservative outfits—led by the Heritage Foundation—have banded together to produce what they call Project 2025, which has released a 1,000-page report, Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise, which provides a blueprint for a wannabe-White-House-autocrat. Their proposals include removing protections for federal employees so perhaps as many as 50,000 could be fired and replaced with Trump (or Republican) loyalists. This would be done under the banner of annihilating the supposed “deep state” bureaucracy and smashing the “administrative state.”
As noted above, this would destroy the civil service, booting out of federal agencies employees with expertise and experience and replacing them with political hacks. We’re talking about EPA lawyers who might inform a White House that its proposal to sell oil leases off environmentally sensitive coastlands would violate the law. Or perhaps a CIA analyst who produces an assessment saying that a presidential policy might yield negative consequences (for instance, a report noting that bombing Mexico could cause an immigration crisis).
There’s much more in Project 2025 than eviscerating the civil service. It, too, calls for curbing the independence of the Justice Department and proposes revved-up prosecutions of persons providing or distributing abortion pills by mail. The project urges rolling back environmental regulations, reversing actions to address climate change, and abolishing the Pentagon’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. One chapter that focuses on the Department of Health and Human Services calls on the next president to “maintain a biblically based, social science–reinforced definition of marriage and family.” In other words, the next chief executive should wage a war on marriage equality.
Make no mistake. They want to take us back to where anyone not-White has no rights in this country. Where women would lose all body autonomy. Where our LGBTQIA+ Citizens would have absolutely no rights. They want us to live in a fascist state. And, this has nothing to do with Trump. They want this plan NO MATTER WHO THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE IS.
THE 2024 ELECTIONS ARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY VS FASCISM.
Before we start to dig into the detail of Project 2025, please welcome back Coyote Annie with her overview take.
— 𝔗𝔯𝔲𝔱𝔥 𝔐𝔞𝔱𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔰 (@politicsusa46) September 18, 2023
As you listen to Cyote Annie’s excellent breakdown of Project 2025, you should notice something.
It’s already started! It is basically a guide to what is already being done by right wing talking heads to create a foundational narrative to prepare the ground for the… pic.twitter.com/7dNocMFxTV
— 𝔗𝔯𝔲𝔱𝔥 𝔐𝔞𝔱𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔰 (@politicsusa46) September 18, 2023
Have you guys heard about this project 2025 thing? pic.twitter.com/sG9ww2X1rL
— Gojo's baby mama (@aprettyPR) September 18, 2023
The Republican Party’s #Project2025 calls for suspension of the Civil Services Protection Act so Republicans can purge everyone who isn’t loyal to MAGA out of agencies like DOJ & Dept of Education.
This was a major part of how the Nazis seized power. pic.twitter.com/MX5cQ2lea4
— Rachel Bitecofer 📈🔭🇺🇲🇺🇦 (@RachelBitecofer) September 15, 2023
🚨A "Must Read"🚨
MAGAs have plans to create an "authoritarian government", called "Project 2025", if Trump is elected.
We must not let this happen, right ?!?https://t.co/OnshSMg4WK
— Dr. Mike Davis 🌊 (@FrankMikeDavis1) September 9, 2023