A Conservative Effort to Prepare for a Second Trump Term

A constellation of conservative organizations is gearing up for a possible second term for Donald Trump or any candidate who aligns with their ideals and can defeat President Joe Biden in 2024. Led by the Heritage Foundation and fueled by former Trump administration officials, this effort aims to dismantle the federal government and replace it with a vision closer to Trump’s own.
The plan, outlined in a nearly 1,000-page handbook called “Project 2025,” involves recruiting thousands of Americans to come to Washington and reshape the government from within. The idea is to commandeer the so-called “deep state” bureaucracy by firing as many as 50,000 federal workers and replacing them with like-minded officials.
This approach represents a shift from traditional conservative tactics of cutting taxes and slashing spending to limit the federal government. Instead, Trump-era conservatives want to gut the “administrative state” and ensure that the president’s agenda is carried out more effectively.
The goal of this effort, spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation and other right-flank organizations, is to avoid the pitfalls encountered during Trump’s first term. With a well-prepared team and a network of allies in key positions, they hope to have the personnel in place to advance their agenda from day one.
One of the main proposals is the reinstatement of Schedule F, a Trump-era executive order that would make it easier to fire federal employees. This idea has drawn criticism from experts who warn of a return to a political spoils system and the potential for chaos in the civil service.
The Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025” handbook offers a mix of longstanding conservative policies and bold proposals that gained prominence during the Trump era. It provides a roadmap for the next president, similar to one produced by Heritage 50 years ago ahead of the Reagan administration.
While conservatives have often viewed federal government offices as stacked with liberal bureaucrats, critics argue that most federal workers are regular citizens who live in the states and should not be treated as enemies.
The Heritage project embraces a unitary view of executive power, which suggests that the president has broad authority to act alone. It proposes strategies to overcome opposition from senators who may try to block presidential Cabinet nominees, including installing top allies in acting administrative roles.
Overall, this conservative effort is aimed at preparing for a future conservative leader who can advance their shared vision of limited government and conservative policies.