What is Project 2025 And Why Is It Alarming? (2024)

The general election is still about four months away and, with the latest polls showing an incredibly tight race, anything can happen in that time. But that hasn’t stopped former President Donald Trump who, in concert with top Republicans and conservative figures and organizations, already sketched out a plan to reshape the federal government in their image.

The plan is called Project 2025 — a collection of policy transition proposals that outline how, should Trump win the November election, he can vastly remake the federal government most effectively to carry out an extremist far-right agenda.

“It is not enough for conservatives to win elections,” the project’s website states. “If we are going to rescue the country from the grip of the radical Left, we need both a governing agenda and the right people in place, ready to carry this agenda out on day one of the next conservative administration. This is the goal of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project.”

What, exactly, is Project 2025?

Simply put, Project 2025 is a massive, 920-page document that outlines exactly what the next Trump presidency would look like. This doesn’t just include policy proposals — like immigration actions, educational proposals and economic plans — but rather a portrait of the America that conservatives hope to implement in the next Republican administration, be it Trump or someone else. The document is a thorough blueprint for how, exactly, to carry out such a vision, through recommendations for key White House staff, cabinet positions, Congress, federal agencies, commissions and boards. The plan goes so far as to outline a vetting process for appointing and hiring the right people in every level of government to carry out this vision.

The opening essay of the plan, written by Heritage Project President Kevin D. Roberts, succinctly summarizes the goal of Project 2025: a promise to make America a conservative nation. To do so, the next presidential administration should focus on four “broad fronts that will decide America’s future.”

Those four fronts include:

  1. Restore the family as the centerpiece of American life and protect our children.
  2. Dismantle the administrative state and return self-governance to the American people.
  3. Defend our nation’s sovereignty, borders, and bounty against global threats.
  4. Secure our God-given individual rights to live freely—what our Constitution calls “the Blessings of Liberty.”

The rest of the document sketches out, in detail, how the next Republican administration can execute their goals on these four fronts. That includes comprehensive outlines on what the White House and every single federal agency should do to overhaul its goals and day-to-day operations — from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Defense, Small Business Administration and Financial Regulatory Agencies. Every sector of the executive branch has a detailed plan in Project 2025 that explains how it can carry out an ultra-conservative agenda.

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Why should we be worried about Project 2025?

As The New Republic notes, Project 2025 is “a remarkably detailed guide to turning the United States into a fascist’s paradise.” The primary document of Project 2025, the magazine explains, lays out what is essentially a “Christian nationalist vision of the United States, one in which married heterosexuality is the only valid form of sexual expression and identity; all pregnancies would be carried to term, even if that requires coercion or death; and transgender and gender-nonconforming people do not exist.”

It’s a terrifying vision of what American life could look like, but what’s most concerning about Project 2025 is its playbook for the first 180 days of a hypothetical second Trump term. “The time is short, and conservatives need a plan,” the playbook states. “The project will create a playbook of actions to be taken in the first 180 days of the new Administration to bring quick relief to Americans suffering from the Left’s devastating policies.”

Among the numerous troubling suggestions laid out in the playbook is a detailed plan to essentially purge the federal workforce of tens of thousands of workers in favor of hiring ones who will adhere to the conservative principles of Project 2025. Paul Dans, a former Trump administration official who’s director of Project 2025’s Presidential Transition Project, told the Associated Press the 180 day transition plan is a “clarion call to come to Washington… People need to lay down their tools, and step aside from their professional life and say, ‘This is my lifetime moment to serve.’”

Much of the 180-Day Playbook reads like a cult’s recruiting pamphlet, explaining how department and agency heads should be vetting potential candidates. “This book is functionally an invitation for you the reader—Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, and Ms. Smith—to come to Washington or support those who can,” Dans writes in the intro to the Playbook. “Our goal is to assemble an army of aligned, vetted, trained, and prepared conservatives to go to work on Day One to deconstruct the Administrative State.”

Who’s behind Project 2025?

Project 2025 is the brainchild of The Heritage Foundation, the 50-year-old conservative think tank that’s among the most influential right-wing organizations in the country.

In its nearly half century of existence, The Heritage Foundation has used its resources, influence and money to push its conservative agenda in just about every facet of American life: anti-abortion advocacy, voter suppression, anti-climate policies, and anti-LGBTQ advocacy.

Though The Heritage Foundation organized Project 2025, the initiative is actually a coalition made up of more than 100 right-wing groups, including notorious groups like America First Legal, the Public Interest Legal Foundation and Moms For Liberty. According to NBC News, a huge web of right-wing dark money groups connected to Project 2025, led by the Leonard Leo-connected Donors Trust, has seen a large bump in donations since the project was announced.

The chapters in the Project 2025 plan and 180-Day Playbook were written by “more than 400 scholars and policy experts from across the conservative movement and around the country,” the group says. That includes former Trump administration officials and notable right-wing figures, like former Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli, and Peter Navarro, a former top trade advisor to Trump.

Read the full 2025 Project plan here.

What is Project 2025 And Why Is It Alarming? (2024)
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