Bad News: Wake up to the alarming plans right-wing extremists have for the US in 2025

Spencer Chretien, Associate Director of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project (left), stands in the Project 2025 tent during the playing of the national anthem at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. The right-wing Republicans pledge to lay out implementation plans for their extremist beliefs in a new administration. Credit: Charlie Neibergall

By Olivia Salzwedel Alliance Intern from University of Minnesota: Morris ‘22

The 2025 Presidential Transition Project is the right-wing’s scary, regressive agenda to turn back the clock to a previous era and “start undoing the damage the Left has wrought and to build a better country for all Americans,” according to their website. The aim is to “assemble an army of conservatives to deconstruct the Administrative state.” It is based on their nearly 1,000-page book, The Mandate for Leadership, and focuses on personnel, training and a 180-day playbook, to stop the “long march of cultural Marxism through our institutions.” 

Project 2025 follows the Trump playbook by gutting environmental protections and escalating the production and consumption of fossil fuels. It also intends to eliminate green energy, end DEI (diversity, inclusion and equity) promotion and stop the “bullying LGBTQ+ agenda,” as well as “correcting” the definition and role of women by forcing them back to “supportive, traditional values.” Warning: the following may make you even more nauseous.

Everyone should be clear that this is nothing less than a wet dream wish list for the ultra-right while being the worst possible nightmare for anyone who cares about people or our planet. Its Mandate for Leadership claims, “The federal government is a behemoth, weaponized against American citizens and conservative values, with freedom and liberty under siege as never before. The task at hand to reverse this tide and restore our Republic to its original moorings is too great for any one conservative policy shop to spearhead. It requires the collective action of our movement.”

It explains that “Project 2025 is more than 50 (and growing) of the nation’s leading conservative organizations joining forces to prepare and seize the day…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.”

We need to flood the zone with conservatives,” said Paul Dans, director of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project and former Trump administration official, according to PBS. He adds, “This 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.’”

According to the Guardian, it’s a $22 million endeavor, “convened by the notorious rightwing, climate-denying thinktank the Heritage Foundation, which has ties to fossil fuel billionaire Charles Koch.” Authors Naomi Oreskes and Erik M Conway’s 2023 book, The Big Myth details how “many of Reagan’s policy proposals were cribbed from the pages of the thinktank’s first Mandate for Leadership, published in 1980, which asserted that the US was in the middle of a ‘crisis of overregulation.’”

Oreskes, a history of science professor at Harvard, said to the Guardian, “It doesn’t trouble me that any individual or institution would develop advisory plans for politicians. What troubles me is the Heritage Foundation’s long history…of working to undermine environmental protection at the expense of health and wellbeing of the American people, at the expense of life on Earth.”

PBS points out, “Trump-era conservatives want to gut the ‘administrative state’ from within, by ousting federal employees they believe are standing in the way of the president’s agenda and replacing them with like-minded officials more eager to fulfill a new executive’s approach to governing.” It adds, “The goal is to avoid the pitfalls of Trump’s first years in office” when even Trump’s own appointees “refused to bend or break protocol, or in some cases violate laws, to achieve his goals.” In addition to Trump, “these ideas are being echoed by GOP rivals Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy and are gaining prominence among other Republicans.”

University of Colorado Denver professor of public administration Mary Guy told PBS,, “We have a democracy that is at risk of suicide.”

Project 2025’s goal is to seize, remove, and amend the “deep state” bureaucracy, in part by firing as many as 50,000 federal workers using the excuse they are obstacles in the agenda. They also intend to eliminate the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, the Office of State and Community Energy Programs and find “reliable and cost-effective energy to power buildings.” Note they state “cost-effective energy” and not environmentally-friendly energy.

The Guardian says their plan is to “dismantle US climate policy” and repeal the Inflation Reduction Act — a landmark law that offers $370 billion to clean technology.” They also seek to shutter the Loan Programs Office at the Department of Energy, eliminate climate change from the National Security Council agenda and encourage allied nations to use fossil fuels.

Alarm about their agenda is sounded by a wide range of leaders and groups. US Rep. Sean Casten (D, IL) said we have “wildfire smoke from Chicago to NYC, ocean temperatures hot enough to kill you in Florida, record low sea ice, record heat in Arizona, and the GOP is focused on repealing all climate legislation. Everyone involved in this effort should be ashamed of themselves.”

Republicans in Congress continue to show they will stop at nothing to undermine environmental protections and attack anything that would help addressing the climate crisis,” said senior government affairs advocate at the League of Conservation Voters David Shadburn, as reported to the Guardian. The document is filled with “corporate giveaways to the corrupt fossil fuel industry,” climate campaigns director for the consumer advocacy nonprofit Public Citizen Deanna Noël told the Guardian. 

But concerns are much broader than climate about this agenda, as the Mandate seeks to bypass Congress on policy and put forward what is called “a unitary view of executive power that suggests the president has broad authority to act alone,” according to PBS. It specifies “a ‘top to bottom overhaul’ of the Department of Justice, particularly curbing its independence and ending FBI efforts to combat the spread of misinformation. It calls for stepped-up prosecution of anyone providing or distributing abortion pills by mail.”

Project 2025 plans to gut efforts at gender equality because they believe Democrats have erased what femininity is through gender policies and practices under the “guise” of “sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, and women’s empowerment.” They also intend to rescind President Biden’s 2022 Gender Policy, as well as remove any existing physical evidence of terms like “gender, gender-diverse individuals, abortion, reproductive health,” and the list goes on. They seek to make The Handmaiden’s Tale a reality.

Conservatives claim the Democrats were too extreme with their workplace influences and have a goal to create a nonpartisan federal workplace environment. However, they are planning to eliminate the Chief Diversity Officer, committees and advisers, remove all DEI (Diversity, Inclusion and Equity) requirements from employee contracts, and cease promotion of the DEI agenda. This eradication begs the question: How will the workplace environment remain equal and nonpartisan without these requirements?

The Project seeks to disable many of the family planning and reproductive policies of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The Mandate says USAID does not “advocate for and protect women” because the Mandate claims women “have been erased globally along with the values and traditional structures that have supported them.” The Project states that without women there would be no children and therefore no families. This and passages from The Mandate imply that they want to revert back to the traditional structure that a woman’s role is to have children and take care of the family

As if this is not enough, their Mandate says schools “should be based on a proper understanding of [civil rights] laws, rejecting gender ideology and critical race theory.” They plan to exclude transgender people from school sports, as well as return to Betsy DeVos’ perspective on gender to mean only one’s biological sex as assigned at birth. They will also reverse Biden’s call for transgender athletes to be included in Title IX equity provisions. 

Here are some other appalling plans you can look forward to from Project 2025:

  • Instill policies to ensure that every state reports exactly how many abortions take place within its borders, at what gestational age of the child, for what reason, the mother’s state of residence, and by what method. 
  • Immediately end the collection of data on gender identity because it “legitimizes the unscientific notion that men can become women (and vice versa).”
  • Break up the Department of Education to strengthen education freedom, enhance parental rights in education, and protect taxpayers from student loan forgiveness.
  • Denounce efforts to place ancillary issues like climate change ahead of food productivity and affordability when it comes to agriculture. 
  • Remove the US from any association with the UN and other efforts to push sustainable-development schemes connected to food production.
  • Finalize the southwestern land border wall and use active-duty military personnel and National Guardsmen to assist in arrest operations along the border. 

If this is what the Heritage Foundation says is just their so-called “first step in preparing future conservative leaders,” can you imagine what’s next?

While the beginning of their manifesto states they want to build a better country for all Americans, in fact the rest of the Mandate underscores they are on a mission to exclude as many people as possible. They want only people who align with the Mandate’s beliefs. They will manipulate and forcibly control those who don’t fit in their molds.

If anything is demonstrated in their Mandate for Leadership, it’s that they don’t want what is best for all Americans. If all of this makes you sick to your stomach, please share this with as many people as possible and vote. Remember, only you can put out political fires.

1 thought on “Bad News: Wake up to the alarming plans right-wing extremists have for the US in 2025

  1. Andrew F Wilks Reply

    If all this comes, I should leave the USA for a better country that respects human rights and has much better social safety nets.

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