Media Matters publishes useful guide to Project 2025, the extreme right-wing agenda that "represents a threat to democracy, civil rights, the climate, and more"

We need to talk more about Project 2025, the terrifyingly right-wing blueprint crafted by right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation that is meant to guide the next Republican administration. If you aren't very familiar with Project 2025, it's time to school yourself and start spreading the word. Luckily, Media Matters for America just released a terrific, accessible overview to help educate the public.

Media Matters provides this summary of Project 2025, which it calls an "extreme agenda" that "represents a threat to democracy, civil rights, the climate, and more":

The plan aims to reinstate Schedule F, a Trump-era executive order that makes federal employees fireable at-will, stripping tens of thousands of employees of civil service protections. Both Trump and others in the conservative movement have said they will clear out the federal government if he is reelected. The project has even set up online trainings and loyalty tests to narrow down potential hires to those who will commit to follow Trump without question. As Project 2025 senior adviser John McEntee has said, "The number one thing you're looking for is people that are aligned with the agenda."

The Heritage Foundation's nearly 900-page policy book, titled Mandate for Leadership: A Conservative Promise, describes Project 2025's priorities and how they would be implemented, broken down by departments in the federal bureaucracy and organized around "four pillars that will, collectively, pave the way for an effective conservative administration: a policy agenda, personnel, training, and a 180-day playbook." Written primarily by former Trump officials and conservative commentators connected to The Heritage Foundation, these proposals would severely inhibit the federal government's protections around reproductive rights, LGBTQ and civil rights, climate change efforts, and immigration.

The initiative is backed by a coalition of over 100 organizations and individuals, at least two-thirds of which receive funding from the Koch network or conservative philanthropist Leonard Leo. The project is also heavily promoted by MAGA-connected media figures such as Steve Bannon, who has called it the "blueprint" for Trump's second term on his War Room podcast. 

In the guide, Media Matters outlines some of the main priorities of the plan:

Personnel and Staffing: "Project 2025's goals for staffing the next GOP presidency reflect Trump's idea to gut civil service staff and replace them with potentially tens of thousands of MAGA loyalists. The New York Times describes this plot for a second Trump administration as an 'expansion of presidential power over the machinery of government' that would reshape 'the structure of the executive branch to concentrate far greater authority directly in his hands.'"

Christian Nationalism: "Project 2025 aims to put Christianity at the center of American government and society by turning a biblical worldview into federal law, often employing Christian nationalist talking points and narratives to support its right-wing policy proposals. In his foreword to the book, for instance, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts claims that 'the Left is threatening the tax-exempt status of churches and charities that reject woke progressivism,' adding that 'they will soon turn to Christian schools and clubs with the same totalitarian intent.' Project 2025 is partnered with the Center for Renewing America, the primary Christian nationalist political organization in the U.S., led by former Trump official and Heritage alumnus Russ Vought." 

Reproductive Rights: "Project 2025 aims for the next conservative administration to attack reproductive rights from several angles, including by removing the term 'abortion' from all federal laws and regulations, reversing abortion pill approval, punishing providers by withdrawing federal health funding, and restricting clinics that provide contraception and STD testing. Project 2025 has collaborated with extremist anti-abortion groups such as Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Students for Life of America, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists."

Department of Justice and Federal Law Enforcement: "In the eyes of pro-Trump Republicans and their right-wing media allies, the Department of Justice and the FBI have long been corrupted by left-wing ideology and the bureaucratic 'deep state.' Now, Project 2025 seeks to radically reshape federal law enforcement for the benefit of a conservative strongman; its chapter by former Trump DOJ official Gene Hamilton states that 'anything other than a top-to-bottom overhaul will only further erode the trust of significant portions of the American people and harm the very fabric that holds together our constitutional republic.' These views reflect the various conservative legal organizations that have partnered with Project 2025, such as former Trump adviser Stephen Miller's America First Legal (where Hamilton currently works as vice president and general counsel), Carrie Severino's Judicial Crisis Network, and the American Center for Law and Justice." 

LGBTQ Rights: "Project 2025 takes extreme positions against LGBTQ rights, seeking to eliminate federal protections for queer people and pursue research into conversion therapies in order to encourage gender and sexuality conformity. The policy book also lays out plans to criminalize being transgender and prohibit federal programs from supporting queer people through various policies. The project partnered with anti-LGBTQ groups the Family Policy Alliance, the Center for Family and Human Rights, and the Family Research Council."

Climate Change: "Project 2025 would eliminate environmental protections and further delay climate action. In the foreword, Heritage President Kevin Roberts calls environmentalism a 'pseudo-religion,' claiming 'environmental extremism is decidedly anti-human' because it promotes 'population control and economic regression' by 'regarding human activity itself as fundamentally a threat to be sacrificed to the god of nature.' Project 2025 is supported by climate change-denying organizations The Heartland Institute and the Institute for Energy Research."

Immigration: "Project 2025 proposes to severely roll back both legal and unauthorized immigration through a number of untested, novel approaches that extend far beyond the policies of Trump's first term. The plan would potentially make hundreds of thousands of people vulnerable to deportation through the loss of temporary protected status, and could ensnare their families, those they live with, and other members of their communities. Extreme anti-immigration organization the Center for Immigration Studies has partnered with Project 2025 in supporting these radical immigration policy ideas."

Education: "Project 2025's proposal for America's education system would be one of the most extreme plans yet, calling for eliminating the Department of Education, getting rid of all teachers unions, and tearing down regulations on education spending. Far-right 'parental rights' organization Moms for Liberty and the anti-union Institute for Education Reform have partnered with Project 2025 to create these proposals."

Media Matters for America describes its mission:

Media Matters for America is a web-based, not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation – news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda – every day, in real time.

Using the website as the principal vehicle for disseminating research and information, Media Matters posts rapid-response items as well as longer research and analytic reports documenting conservative misinformation throughout the media. Additionally, Media Matters works daily to notify activists, journalists, pundits, and the general public about instances of misinformation, providing them with the resources to rebut false claims and to take direct action against offending media institutions.

Read the entire guide to Project 2025 here, and sign up for the Media Matters newsletter here.