July 12, 2024

Opinion: Project 2025′s threat to democracy

Letter to the Editor

By Steve Corbin, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, University of Northern Iowa

According to a May 15 NBC News report, there are a multitude of issues that voters must discern about Biden, Trump and the independent presidential candidates before voting on Nov. 5. Logically, the importance of each issue differs between and among America’s 161.4 million registered voters.

The issues identified include, in alphabetical order: abortion-women’s choice, Affordable Care Act, affordable housing, China-Taiwan, civil service workforce, climate change, crime, integrity of 2020 and 2024 elections, economy-inflation-wages, electric vs. gas-powered vehicles, globalization vs. isolationism trade and tariffs, immigration-border control, individual and corporate taxes, Israel-Gaza, marijuana, NATO-U.S. alliances, public vs. school choice education, Russia-Ukraine, social media, Social Security-Medicare, student loan debt and transgender rights.

One issue missing from the NBC News report that has become a focal point of the Biden camp, MAGA Republicans and 3rd party candidates is democracy vs. authoritarianism. Specifically, at noon (Eastern Time Zone) on Mon., Jan. 20, 2025, will the duly elected and inaugurated 47th president of the United States keep America as a democracy that dates back to the 1630′s in the New England Colonies or will it be the start of changing the country to authoritarian-fascism?

If you’ve not heard of Project 2025, it’s very worthy of your independent investigation. Project 2025 is a playbook specifically created for Donald Trump and his minions to use in the first 180 days of Trump’s 2025-2029 presidential administration. The far-right extremism-based Heritage Foundation proudly takes claim for facilitating the creation of the 887 page turning-democracy-into-an-authoritarian-country document.

Project 2025′s two editors had assistance from 34 authors, 277 contributors, a 54-member advisory board and a coalition of over 100 conservative organizations (e.g., ALEC, The Heartland Institute, Liberty University, Middle East Forum, Moms for Liberty, NRA, Pro-Life America, Tea Party Patriots, etc.).

Project 2025 is a serious endeavor – if Trump returns to the White House — to make America a fascist country. After all, on May 20, Trump posted a video on his Truth Social media account depicting his 2025-2029 administration as a “Unified Reich.” (Hitler’s Third Reich occurred 1933-1945.)

Download Project 2025′s website (https://static.project2025.org/2025_MandateForLeadership_FULL.pdf) so you can check out the disconcerting manuscript that tells Trump what specifically to do from Jan. 20 to July 18, 2025 to convert America into an authoritarian regime.

The 30 chapters of Project 2025 are a daunting read. Project 2025 proposes, among a host of things, eliminating the Department of Education, eliminating the Department of Commerce, deploying the U.S. military whenever protests erupt, dismantling the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, removing sexual and gender-protected discrimination and terminating diversity, equity, inclusion and affirmative action.

Additional mandates include: siphoning off billions of public school funding, funding private school choice vouchers, phasing out public education’s Title 1 program, gutting the nation’s free school meals program, eliminating the Head Start program, banning books and suppressing any curriculum that discusses the evils of slavery.

Project 2025 also calls for: banning abortion (which makes women second-class citizens), restricting access to contraception, forcing would-be immigrants to be detained in concentration camps, eliminating Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, recruiting 54,000 loyal MAGA Republicans to replace existing federal civil servants and ending America’s bedrock principle that separates church from state.

An article in Politico (Feb. 20) described Project 2025 as an authoritarian Christian nationalist movement and a path for the U.S. to become an autocracy. Several legal experts have indicated implementing the 180 day manual would undermine the rule of law and the separation of powers (Peter Stone, The Guardian, Nov. 22, 2023).

As noted earlier, Project 2025 is worthy of your independent investigation. So that you’ll be in-the-know as to what authoritarianism looks like, seriously consider reading one research-based book per month for the next five months as pre-election homework. Here’s my suggested reading assignment:

June: On Tyranny: 20 lessons from the 20th century, Timothy Snyder, 2017; a quick read and #1 New York Times best seller

July: Twilight of Democracy: The seductive lure of authoritarianism, Anne Applebaum, 2020; chapters IV, V and VI get to the bottom line

August: Democracy Awakening: Notes on the state of America, Heather Cox Richardson, 2023; 319 reference sources – a credible and informative book

September: Attack from within: How disinformation is sabotaging America, Barbara McQuade, 2024; the 1,717 reference citations proves this is well researched and an `honest’ read

October: 1984, George Orwell, 1949; Orwell’s novel shows Americans what life would be like under totalitarian and oppressive rule

Reading even just one of these books will enable you to discern political candidate and party-based disinformation, misinformation and propaganda from truth . . . ready to vote on Nov. 5 . . . and keep America a democracy.

Contact Steve Corbin at steve.b.corbin@gmail.com