Project 2025: The GOP’s plan for taking power

Project 2025 mind map of entities

Project 2025, led by Paul Dans and key conservative figures within The Heritage Foundation, sets forth an ambitious conservative vision aimed at fundamentally transforming the role of the federal government. Leonard Leo, a prominent conservative known for his influence on the U.S. Supreme Court‘s composition, is among the project’s leading fundraisers.

The initiative seeks to undo over a century of progressive reforms, tracing back to the establishment of a federal administrative framework by Woodrow Wilson, through the New Deal by Roosevelt, to Johnson’s Great Society. It proposes a significant reduction in the federal workforce, which stands at about 2.25 million people.

Essential measures include reducing funding for, or even abolishing, key agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Departments of Education and Commerce. Additionally, Project 2025 intends to bring semi-independent agencies like the Federal Communications Commission under closer presidential control.

At its heart, Project 2025 aims to secure a durable conservative dominance within the federal government, aligning it closely with the principles of the MAGA movement and ensuring it operates under the direct oversight of the White House. The project is inspired by the “unitary executive theory” of the Constitution, which argues for sweeping presidential authority over the federal administrative apparatus — in direct contradiction with the delicate system of checks and balances architected by the Founders.

The Project 2025 Playbook

To realize their extremist, authoritarian goal, Dans is actively recruiting what he terms “conservative warriors” from legal and government networks, including bar associations and offices of state attorneys general. The aim is to embed these individuals in key legal roles throughout the government, thereby embedding the conservative vision deeply within the federal bureaucracy to shape policy and governance for the foreseeable future.

They’ve put together an almost 1000-page playbook that spells out in excruciating detail all of the unconscionable things they wish to do with their stolen power. In addition to rolling back civil rights and destroying the federal government, the Trump 2.0 administration would reverse actions to curb climate change and funnel trillions in tax cuts to their oil, real estate, and other industry buddies at the expense of the middle class — reversing historic gains in reducing inequality under the Biden administration.

Trump crony and white nationalism enthusiast Steve Bannon has promoted Project 2025 on his podcast, calling it the “blueprint” for Trump’s second term.

Steve Bannon, Trump loyalist, convicted felon, and wife abuser

Project 2025 leaders and backers

  • Paul Dans — A senior figure in conservative policy circles, known for his work on economic policies and regulatory reforms. He has been associated with several think tanks and policy initiatives aimed at shaping future conservative agendas in the United States.
  • Leonard Leo — A prominent conservative legal activist, best known for his influential role in the Federalist Society, where he has been instrumental in the nomination process for conservative judges to the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court.
  • Charles Koch — Billionaire industrialist and political donor who co-owns Koch Industries, one of the largest private companies in America. He is widely recognized for his significant financial contributions to libertarian and conservative causes, including massively well-funded astroturfing and disinformation operations, focusing on free-market ideology and radically limited government. He has funded a number of the Project 2025 Advisory Board organizations.
  • Stephen Miller — Senior advisor for policy (and resident ghoul) to former President Donald Trump, known for his hardline stance on immigration policy. Miller has been a vocal proponent of restrictive immigration measures and played a key role in shaping the administration’s immigration policies.
  • Stephen Moore — An economic commentator and a former member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board. He co-founded the Club for Growth and has been a strong advocate for free-market economic policies, tax cuts, and the kind of business deregulation that allows markets to crash with the middle class holding the bag and the billionaire class getting bailed out.
  • William L Walton — A conservative businessman and media personality who has been actively involved in various conservative organizations and initiatives. He is known for his efforts to promote conservative economic policies and values through media and philanthropy.
  • David R Burton — A senior fellow in economic policy at The Heritage Foundation conservative think tank, where he focuses on tax matters, securities law, entitlements, and regulatory issues. Burton is known for his influence in financial and economic policy, advocating for policies that promote growth and innovation.
  • Jonathan Berry — Berry is known for his work in labor and employment law, having served in prominent positions within the federal government, where he focused on regulatory reform and labor policies. He has been influential in shaping policies that aim to boost economic growth with less regard for worker rights.
  • Kevin Roberts — The Heritage Foundation’s President
  • John McEntee — Project 2025 senior advisor
  • Bernard McNamee — Former Federal Energy REgulatory Commission head who wrote the Department of Energy chapter in Project 2025’s policy book, calling for the elimination of 3 agency offices and reudction of funding to other related to renewable energy.
  • Mandy Gunasekara — Former Trump EPA chief who wrote the chapter dedicated to the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Max Primorac — Heritage research fellow and former chief operating officer of USAID for the Trump administration, who wrote the chapter on the US Agency for International Development.

Project 2025 Advisory Board organizations

Over 100 (so-called) conservative organizations have joined the planning of the project and are listed on their website so far:

Watch this space

We’ll be covering the movements and spinoffs of Project 2025 as we get closer to the general election. Perhaps it will be helpful to have their ideas and plans dragged out in the light, where suburban moms and other members of the reality-based community can see them in their full glory and understand the kind of scary power these guys (and they are mostly guys) would wield.

Stay tuned.

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