Donald Trump may be drowning in a sea of legal problems that could land him in jail for the rest of his life, his staunchest supporters are keeping their eyes on the ball. The ball, in this case, is a second presidency in which Trump is the key to realizing some conservatives’ fever dream of dismantling what they call the ‘administrative state’ of the federal government.
In simple terms, the right is no longer cosplaying as a movement for limited government with less spending; it openly wants to erase much of the federal government itself, with a specific focus on departments that protect civil and voting rights and the environment or check abuses out of control police departments. It also sees no need for an Education Department or even the Justice Department. In other words, they want to do away with all the ways the government functions to help everyday people, especially Black and brown folks, and the conservative orgs who want this see Trump as the prophet who’s come to part the political waters that lead to their promised land.
Just consider that Vivek Ramaswamy, the GOP presidential candidate getting the most media attention right now, says he wants to unalive the FBI, the Education Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (I don’t know about you, but I like my nukes regulated). Ramaswamy also believes Trump is the greatest president of the current century, nevermind the one who passed the country’s first comprehensive healthcare bill and tracked down Osama bin Laden, the one who took over after a literal insurrection attempt or even the one who navigated the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Though Trump famously spouted “I have done more for the African American community than any president with the exception of Abraham Lincoln,” his presidency encouraged racial division by promoting hate speech and political violence. His administration also dismissed calls for police and social justice reform.
During his tenure, Trump enacted an executive order that discriminated against Muslims and banned refugees. His inaction during the onset of Covid in 2020 also had dire consequences for Black folks, who died at higher rates from the disease. If conservatives have their way, things will continue to become more and more unbearable.
This initiative is being led by Heritage Foundation, as well as former Trump administration officials, who plan on forming a makeshift government in the event that Trump returns to office. However, they will back any conservative who beats Biden.
Armed with their 1,000-page “Project 2025” handbook, numerous conservative groups are preparing to have the infrastructure ready to get rid of a “deep state” bureaucracy if the GOP takes over the White House. The first step to achieving this, according to the document, is by firing up to 50,000 federal employees.
Historically, Republicans have always wanted to limit the federal government by cutting federal taxes as well as federal spending. Now, Trump has inspired conservatives to get rid of federal employees who oppose their policies and beliefs altogether. Those workers would be replaced by yes-men, eager to fulfill the President’s wishes which would render the position a dictatorship.
This agenda has been endorsed by Trump’s GOP competitors Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy. Despite how demented it is, it could happen if Schedule F—a Trump executive order that makes thousands of federal employees at-will workers disposable—is reinstated.
Biden repealed the executive order when he took office in 2021, but GOP candidates are hoping to reverse it. The handbook also calls for an overhaul of the Department of Justice, getting rid of diversity and inclusion initiatives in the Pentagon and bolstering law enforcement officials.
Heritage released a similar book 50 years ago, as a precursor to the Ronald Reagan administration. That only illustrates how conservatives’ goal of an authoritarian society has always been their bottom line.