Third in a three-part series on the dangerous ramifications of a Trump presidency
Rural Americans -- egged on by Republican politicians, GOP pundits, and the Right-wing fake news media -- have found themselves an easy enemy on the Left by casting dispersions on what they like to call the “cultural elites.”
This successful branding exercise by a Republican Party built on lies has greatly obscured the fact that the actual threat to the United States is really elites on the Right, who provide gobs of money to try to convince people to vote against their own best interests.
Now this stupendous flow of cash is feeding an even more insidious plan: helping presidential candidate/would-be dictator Donald Trump to bring democracy-ending levels of authoritarianism to the federal government, all while ensuring the climate change disaster the scientists have been warning us about for years will occur.
I’m talking about Project 2025 – a $22-million operation that the New York Times describes as “a well-funded network of conservative groups” headed by the Heritage Foundation.
They’re preparing policies, personnel lists, and transition plans to maximize Trump’s power if he returns to office next year. The Times explained that the goal is “to alter the balance of power by increasing the president’s authority over every part of the federal government that now operates … with any measure of independence from political interference by the White House.”
According to the Times, here’s some of the things they plan to do:
*Bring independent agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, under direct presidential control.
This could allow Trump to strip licenses from media outlets that oppose him and ignore various antitrust and consumer protection rules at the expense of the public and to the benefit of the business community and, of course, himself.
*Revive the practice of “impounding” funds, which would allow him to refuse to spend money Congress has appropriated.
This would let him override congressional funding decisions and cut funding for any agency, department, individual, or program he doesn’t like or wants to punish. This authoritarian tactic was banned by Congress during President Richard Nixon’s time in office.
*Strip employment protections from tens of thousands of career civil servants.
This will make it easier for Trump to fire government employees who he feels are standing in the way of his agenda or aren’t loyal enough in his mind. Of course, corrupt people in charge want corrupt people under them, and you can forget about whistleblowers because everyone will be members of the cult.
As Russell Vought, a former Trump administration member explained: “What we’re trying to do is to identify the pockets of independence and seize them.”
Let’s repeat that again: “What we’re trying to do is to identify the pockets of independence and seize them.”
Does that sound democratic to you? It sure doesn’t to me.
These folks have no intention of limiting their damage to the halls of government. They also want to end our efforts to address climate change, while exacerbating the threat: From increasing our use of fossil fuels, to crushing efforts to convert to green energy sources, to stripping the federal government of the ability to even address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Conservatives are laying the groundwork for a future Republican administration that would dismantle efforts to slow global warming. … The climate and energy provisions would be among the most severe swings away from current federal policies,” the Times reported.
Here are some details of their plans from the Times:
Boosting the use of fossil fuels
*Shredding regulations to curb greenhouse gas pollution from cars, oil and gas wells, and power plants
*Calling for the government to stop trying to make automobiles more fuel efficient and to block states from adopting California’s stringent automobile pollution standards.
*Encouraging allied nations to buy and use more fossil fuels rather than renewable energy.
*Opening the door to drilling inside the pristine Arctic wilderness.
*Declaring the federal government has an “obligation to develop vast oil and gas and coal resources” on America’s public lands.
*Providing legal protection for energy companies that kill birds while extracting oil and gas.
*Classifying climate change as an issue no longer worthy of discussion by the National Security Council.
Stifling efforts to develop clean energy
*Dismantling almost every clean energy program in the federal government
*Repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, which offers $370 billion for wind, solar, nuclear, green hydrogen, and electric vehicle technology. (Interestingly, most of the new investments are taking place in Republican-led states)
*Closing a Department of Energy office that has $400 billion in loan authority to help emerging green technologies, making it more difficult for solar, wind, and other renewable power – the fastest growing energy source in the United States – to be added to the grid.
The Kill Shot: Banning government regulation of greenhouse gas emissions
*Restarting efforts to reverse a 2009 scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that says carbon dioxide emissions are a danger to public health. Conservatives have long believed that erasing that finding would “essentially strip the federal government of the right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from most sources.”
Here’s some more reading on the subject:
Trump and Allies Forge Plans To Increase Presidential Power in 2025 (New York Times)
A Republican 2024 Climate Strategy: More Drilling, Less Clean Energy (New York Times)
Fascism is Knocking at the Door (Musings of a Nobody)
A Plan To Ensure a Global Crisis (Musings of a Nobody)
This is what Republicans mean when they talk about a “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Why, you may ask, would these millionaires and billionaires footing the bill be so happy to inflict this kind of damage on our democracy and our planet?
Simple, the more they can wreck the federal government as we know it, the easier it will be to eliminate programs that help the poor and middle class and regulations that cost businesses money – particularly those affecting the fossil fuel and finance industries. They see this as the best road to tax cuts for the rich. Greater wealth at the expense of the poor and middle class is the ultimate goal.
The bottom line is usually the bottom line.
As with so many other threats, Trump and the GOP are telling us what they plan to do. We can only protect our democracy and our planet by keeping this monster and his cronies out of office.
It’s can be fun to hate the rich, and in this case it’s deserving. But it won’t be funny if Trump wins and his voters only then find out they’ve been hating the wrong side all along.
Thank you for reading my post. You can see more of my writing on my blog: Musings of a Nobody. Also, please check out my video blog: The 3:13 on Politics.