Project 2025: A blueprint to end democracy, multiculturalism, and even recreational sex

The only thing possibly more frightening than the details of Heritage’s Project 2025 presidential transition plan is that its monstrous proposals are not being plotted in secretive closed-door meetings.

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SOURCEOccupy.com
Image Credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP

Former President Donald Trump is running on a number of frightening policies, but he isn’t the boogeyman — he’s just the boogeyman’s chosen tool for the current moment. If he doesn’t win the presidential election in November, the septuagenarian facing 91 felony charges who eats poorly and doesn’t exercise eventually won’t be around, and someone else will rise up to take his place. And whoever that person is will be the one to usher in a frightening new America led by an authoritarian Christofascist government.

During his first term, Trump did plenty of damage by appointing far-right judges to lifetime positions and through the various policies enacted by the cabinet secretaries he appointed. But he was largely hamstrung from making the kind of large, sweeping changes he sought by the resistance of America’s institutions, having no sway over the tens of thousands of invisible government employees who would actually be the ones to push the buttons and shuffle the paperwork. He won’t make the same mistake twice. And the far-right Heritage Foundation is making sure of that, whether the next Republican president is Donald Trump, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, or someone else.

The only thing possibly more frightening than the details of Heritage’s Project 2025 presidential transition plan is that its monstrous proposals are not being plotted in secretive closed-door meetings, but have already been published and made freely available online (PDF link) for anyone to peruse. Heritage feels so confident about the righteousness of its agenda that it is publicly inviting the American public to critique it. And based on the details that have emerged, Heritage fully plans for Trump — or the next GOP president — to have all the tools necessary to demolish multicultural democracy and establish a white, Christian ethnostate that imposes a gender apartheid not unlike the Taliban’s Afghanistan.

Project 2025 would create a far-right “deep state”

In late 2020, just before Donald Trump was voted out of office, he passed an executive order dubbed “Schedule F,” which was promptly rescinded by President Joe Biden shortly after he took office. Schedule F would have removed numerous employment protections for the federal civil service and allowed Trump to greatly increase the number of political appointees in his administration from roughly 5,000 to approximately 54,000. One key part of Project 2025 is its “personnel” platform: Heritage is still currently accepting resumes from MAGA acolytes who want to work under the next Republican president and has already pre-screened roughly 4,000 applicants as of late November.

The criteria Heritage is using to weigh the credentials of prospective new civil service workers isn’t based on any actual merit — like past experience in public service or crafting legislation — but on how loyal applicants are to the MAGA movement’s political goals. Packing federal agencies with tens of thousands of far-right toadies would effectively establish the “deep state” Trump has railed against throughout his political career. 

The New York Times obtained and published the questionnaire Heritage is sending to interested applicants, which asks them not about past accomplishments or concrete policy wins, but primarily about their ideological leanings. Applicants are asked questions like:

“What part of Candidate Trump’s campaign message most appealed to you and why?”

“Briefly describe your political evolution. What thinkers, authors, books, or political leaders influenced you and led you to your current beliefs? What political commentator, thinker or politician best reflects your views?”

“Have you ever appeared in the media to comment on Candidate Trump, President Trump or other personnel or policies of the Trump administration?”

Axios also obtained the questionnaire from a source described as “an alumnus of the Trump White House,” who told the publication that the questions are meant to gauge if an applicant has been “red-pilled,” and “to see that you’re listening to Tucker [Carlson], and not pointing to the Reagan revolution or any of that George W. Bush stuff.”

Trump campaign senior advisor Chris LaCivita stressed that Project 2025 is independent of the Trump campaign itself, which would announce its own transition plan in the event Trump wins the general election. However, John McEntee, who was the director of the Presidential Personnel Office in Trump’s White House, is a senior advisor to Project 2025, which suggests that at least its personnel screening is in line with Trump’s own goals.

Project 2025 would seek to end a multicultural US

Should Trump be sent back to the White House, his former top immigration advisor Stephen Miller (an outed white nationalist) recently laid out how Trump would begin a mass deportation plan “within moments” of taking office in January of 2025. Ronald Brownstein — a senior editor for the Atlantic — tweeted excerpts from a speech Miller gave to National Rifle Association activists about how Trump would create “standing facilities” to detain immigrants by the thousands “where planes are moving off the runway constantly.”

Miller elaborated that in order to pull off his unprecedented mass detention and deportation program, the Trump administration would deputize national guardsmen from Republican-controlled states to conduct immigration raids in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and other agencies, along with “state and local sheriffs as well.”

“Even using conservative numbers, I mean, you’re going to be looking at 10 million illegals Biden would have let in,” Miller said when assessing the number of deportations Trump would pursue. He added that he would also seek to remove “people who were let in on visas but whose views, attitudes, and beliefs make them ineligible to stay in the country.” This suggests that the Trump administration could round up and deport any immigrant, legal or otherwise, who would be deemed as undesirable based on their political leanings. 

Miller’s statements echo a November 2023 article in the New York Times, which reported that Trump would follow “the Eisenhower model” to pursue his mass deportation efforts. That remark was a reference to Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback,” which was a campaign that rounded up, detained, and deported as many as 1.3 million Mexican immigrants — including naturalized US citizens. History.com described the effort as a “short-lived” campaign that leaned heavily on racial stereotypes (the operation’s name includes a racial epithet) to convince Americans that Mexicans were dirty, disease-ridden, and irresponsible.

“During Operation Wetback, tens of thousands of immigrants were shoved into buses, boats and planes and sent to often-unfamiliar parts of Mexico, where they struggled to rebuild their lives,” History.com wrote. “In Chicago, three planes a week were filled with immigrants and flown to Mexico. In Texas, 25 percent of all of the immigrants deported were crammed onto boats later compared to slave ships, while others died of sunstroke, disease and other causes while in custody.”

In Project 2025’s 900+ page blueprint, the section describing reforms to the Department of Homeland Security was written by Ken Cuccinelli — Trump’s far-right ex-DHS official whose appointment was later ruled illegal by a federal judge. Cuccinelli laid out how he would reshuffle the multiple departments within the agency, creating a Border Security and Immigration Agency (BSIA) that would handle all border and immigration-related functions. Cuccinelli wrote that the newly established BSIA would have more than 100,000 employees, making it the third-largest government agency by manpower. 

Along with calling for more funding and resources to support efforts to round up, detain, and deport large numbers of immigrants, Cuccinelli also called for repealing the Temporary Protected Status designation (used for so-called “dreamers,” whose parents brought them across the border as young children) and for the DHS to assume jurisdiction over unaccompanied minors, as opposed to the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s likely that Cuccinelli would be on Trump’s shortlist for DHS secretary, meaning many of these policies could come to fruition if Trump won the election.

Project 2025 would end “recreational sex” and create gender apartheid

In May of 2023, the Heritage Foundation’s official X/Twitter account posted a video of a speaker at a panel discussion talking about how she wanted to see “a feminist movement against the [birth control] pill, and for… returning the consequentiality to sex.”

“Conservatives have to lead the way in restoring sex to its true purpose, & ending recreational sex & senseless use of birth control pills,” Heritage tweeted.

The speaker’s eyebrow-raising statement and Heritage’s endorsement of it should be taken seriously, especially in the context of Project 2025’s key figures and their past public statements on topics involving sex, marriage, birth, abortion, and fertility treatments. 

The Supreme Court’s overturning of constitutionally guaranteed abortion rights in its 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling was a contributor to the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that stated frozen embryos have the same rights as human babies. That decision prompted numerous in-vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics in Alabama to suspend providing the service, for Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall to state that his office wouldn’t prosecute recipients or providers of the treatment, and for top Republicans like Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) to reiterate their support for IVF.

Of course, these commitments to upholding access to IVF treatments are just empty words when compared to Republicans’ actions. Even though the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) issued a memo urging Republican US Senate candidates to support IVF access, NRSC president Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) cosponsored a 2021 bill that would effectively halt IVF by stating that human personhood begins at the moment of fertilization. Because IVF clinics discard unused embryos, this would be labeled as “killing” a person, which makes IVF unworkable. And while a previous version of the senate bill included a carveout specifically for IVF treatment, the House of Representatives’ version does not. And that bill was cosponsored by 125 Republicans, including Speaker Johnson. 

But when delving beneath the surface, Republicans’ plans for controlling women’s bodies in 2025 and beyond has been well-documented. Politico recently reported that Russell Vought, who leads the influential Center for Renewing America (CRA) think tank — an official coalition partner of Project 2025 — is seeking to implement a slew of Christian nationalist policies in a second Trump administration. Aside from wanting to reverse FDA approval of abortion drugs like Mifepristone and defunding Planned Parenthood, and ending policies that “subsidize single motherhood,” the CRA may have even more extreme policy proposals that it has sought to conceal from the public. 

Politico reporter Heidi Pryzybyla found several deleted social media posts from William Wolfe, who is a visiting fellow at CRA, in which he called for an end to sex education in schools, no-fault divorce, and even surrogacy. Wolfe previously served as a deputy assistant secretary of defense in Trump’s pentagon, and it’s a near-certainty that Project 2025 would place him high up in the Trump administration. 

The publicly stated views of so many far-right figures connected to Project 2025 hints at the conservative movement’s ultimate goal as far as it concerns the reproductive rights of individuals capable of pregnancy. Conservatives don’t merely seek to regulate uteruses, but rather want to punish sexual independence altogether. 

As the speaker alluded to in the video Heritage posted last May, the far right wants sex to come with consequences — usually in the form of a pregnancy that a sexually independent person is forced to carry to term in the absence of legal abortions. Notably, even Nikki Haley endorsed the view that embryos are children, and it’s likely a Haley presidency would closely resemble a second Trump term if Project 2025 is still involved. 

By effectively blocking one full half of the country from having “recreational sex,” the far right is actually seeking to implement what the United Nations called “gender apartheid.”

“Women and girls in Afghanistan are experiencing severe discrimination that may amount to gender persecution – a crime against humanity – and be characterized as gender apartheid, as the de facto authorities appear to be governing by systemic discrimination with the intention to subject women and girls to total domination,” UN special rapporteur Richard Bennett wrote in 2023.

The UN used that phrase to refer to the Taliban’s subjugation of women in Afghanistan, but that term could very well apply to an America in which individuals capable of pregnancy are punished for being sexually independent, are trapped in marriages they don’t want should no-fault divorce be banned, are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to full term due to abortion being criminalized and abortion drugs being taken off the shelves, and who can’t have children other than by being married to and having sex with a man. 

When Americans cast their ballots this fall, they should do so knowing that their vote won’t just be for a candidate, but for two very different versions of America. One version is one in which the “New Colossus” poem on the Statue of Liberty welcomes “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and guarantees basic human rights for all men and women, of all cultures and backgrounds. Another version is a dystopian society in which white, conservative, Christian men sit at the top of society, with all others beneath them. 

Which version will we choose?

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