What Is Project 2025?

3 minute read

If you were on Twitter or TikTok over the weekend, you might have seen people talking about Project 2025.

Led by the right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation, Project 2025 is a presidential transition operation—basically a government-in-waiting if former President Donald Trump returns to office on Jan. 20, 2025. The $22 million effort does not say it is specifically intended for Trump, but that it wants a conservative as the next commander-in-chief.

The project, published in 2023, includes a nearly 1,000-page handbook that detailed a conservative agenda for the next president. Project 2025 said on its website that the handbook is “the next conservative President’s last opportunity to save our republic.”

“It is not enough for conservatives to win elections,” Project 2025 said on its website. “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. That is the goal of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project.”

“With the right conservative policy recommendations and properly vetted and trained personnel to implement them, we will take back our government,” the project continued.

Read More: How Far Trump Would Go

Dozens of conservative organizations are behind the effort. Part of the plan includes firing federal employees that conservatives believe are preventing right-wing policies from being implemented and replacing them with their own picks, the Associated Press reported.

The handbook detailed “a top-to-bottom overhaul” of the Department of Justice and putting an end to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) efforts to curb the spread of misinformation. The handbook said that “the FBI have absolutely no business policing speech.”

The agenda also included a crackdown on abortion pills, which it called “the single greatest threat to unborn children in a post-Roe world.” The handbook urged the Food and Drug Administration to reverse the approval of the pills, claiming that the approval process was “politicized” and “illegal” (more than 100 scientific studies over decades have found that both mifepristone and misoprostol, the two abortion-inducing drugs, are safe).

The Associated Press previously called the handbook’s language “apocalyptic.” The handbook encouraged the next presidential administration to “reexamine the balance between media demands and space constraints on the White House premises,” saying that there is “no legal entitlement” for the press corps to have permanent space on the premises.

Many critics have labeled Project 2025 as “authoritarian.” The project relies on what legal scholars call the unitary executive theory, which dismisses the idea that there are three separate branches of government for checks and balances, The New York Times reported. Rather, proponents of the theory argue that Article 2 of the Constitution allows the president to have total authority over the executive branch.

“Some of these visions, they do start to just bleed into some kind of authoritarian fantasies where the president won the election, so he’s in charge, so everyone has to do what he says—and that’s just not the system the government we live under,” Philip Wallach, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who studies the separation of powers in the U.S., previously told the Associated Press.

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