With more than a year to go before the 2024 election, a constellation of conservative organizations is preparing for a possible second White House term for Donald Trump, recruiting thousands of Americans to come to Washington on a mission to dismantle the federal government and replace it with a vision closer to his own.
Led by the long-established Heritage Foundation think tank and fueled by former Trump administration officials, the far-reaching effort is essentially a government-in-waiting for the former president’s second term — or any candidate who aligns with their ideals and can defeat President Joe Biden in 2024.
With a nearly 1,000-page “Project 2025” handbook and an “army” of Americans, the idea is to have the civic infrastructure in place on Day One to commandeer, reshape and do away with what Republicans deride as the “deep state” bureaucracy, in part by firing as many as 50,000 federal workers.
“We need to flood the zone with conservatives,” said Paul Dans, director of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project and a former Trump administration official who speaks with historical flourish about the undertaking.
“This is a clarion call to come to Washington,” he said. “People need to lay down their tools, and step aside from their professional life and say, ‘This is my lifetime moment to serve.’”
The unprecedented effort is being orchestrated with dozens of right-flank organizations, many new to Washington, and represents a changed approach from conservatives, who traditionally have sought to limit the federal government by cutting federal taxes and slashing federal spending.
Instead, 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. [Continue reading…]