Project 2025 March 13 Update

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Project 2025 is a 920-page plan, spearheaded by the powerful and extreme far-right Heritage Foundation. This blueprint for autocracy is supported by more than 100 organizations. Their stated goal is to create an “ideal” America that would see women, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, people of color, and others deprived of their hard-won constitutional rights and the erosion of environmental and education protections. It also advocates for a frightening centralization of power in the executive branch. Rooted in hate and Christian Nationalism, the plan promises to “rescue the country.” Read GPAHE’s full analysis of Project 2025 and the groups behind it. 

GPAHE tracks the activities of those behind Project 2025, and their plans for an authoritarian and Christian Nationalist America, no matter who is president, and the groups in this extremist movement are relentlessly implementing initiatives at local, state, and federal levels. 

Here we look at the influence of a Hungarian dictator, the floundering of Project 2025 sponsor Moms for Liberty, Charlie Kirk’s “Great Replacement” rhetoric, The Heritage Foundation’s push for more robots and less education, and how Liberty University’s indifference to women’s safety led to a steep fine. 

Project 2025: Courting a Dictator
Project 2025 maps out the Christian Nationalists’s plan to replace democracy with authoritarianism, and supporters of this plan have long admired the reign of Viktor Orbán, prime minister of Hungary. In late February, GPAHE’s co-founders wrote about this troubling relationship in Common Dreams. Not surprisingly,  Orbán met with Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago on March 8  and spoke at a Heritage Foundation event, modeling what “illiberal” leadership looks like for a crowd of Project 2025 supporters and advisory board members, including Vivek Ramaswamy and Steve Bannon. 

That those advocating for Project 2025 would welcome a tyrannical leader with open arms comes as no surprise; Orbán is the living example of their 920-page playbook. During Orbán’s visit last week, Trump’s admiration for the far-right leader was on full display. “There’s nobody that’s better, smarter or a better leader than Viktor Orbán. He’s fantastic…He’s a non-controversial figure because he says, ‘This is the way it’s going to be,’ and that’s the end of it. Right?” Trump gushed. “He’s the boss. No, he’s a great leader.”

Since the anti-immigrant, Christian nationalist Prime Minister’s second stint in office began in 2010, his accomplishments are the stuff ultra-Conservative Nationalist dreams are made of. Orbán has decimated liberty and democratic ideals in his country by eliminating the free press, eroding the rights of the country’s LGBTQ+ people, rolling back women’s and reproductive rights, rewriting the constitution and forcing hundreds of judges into retirement while replacing them with loyalists.

Orbán’s ties to political extremists in the US  are well-established. He is a regular Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) keynote speaker. Budapest has even hosted CPAC annual meetings including their gathering in 2023 where Heritage Foundation leader Kevin Roberts said of Orbán,“I stand in awe.” For his part, Orbán stated the glaringly obvious, that Hungary is paving the way for authoritarianism in the United States, accurately describing his country as an “incubator where the conservative policies of the future are being tested.”

Moms for Liberty’s 60 Minutes of Fame
Founded in Florida in 2021, the anti-LGBTQ+, anti-diversity, anti-critical race theory Moms for Liberty (MFL) has earned much more than its share of the requisite 15 minutes of fame. Not only has the Project 2025 advisory board member been linked to the white supremacist Proud Boys, their latest foray into the public eye was in a March 3 segment of 60 Minutes, where their evasive answers, questionable ethics, extremist views, and misinformed policies were highlighted.

The 60 Minutes segment focused on MFL’s failed bookbanning effort in Beaufort, South Carolina. During their interviews, Justice and Descovich flusteredly referred to written talking points and were called out by Pelley for their evasive answers.

Predictably, MFL made the rounds of right-wing media in the aftermath, accusing 60 Minutes of heavily editing their segment. Former journalist Megyn Kelly, who has hosted a fundraiser for MFL, called reporter Pelley, a 40-time Emmy- award-winner, a “disgusting” man who had “failed America’s children.”

Turning Point USA: Charlie Kirk pushes the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory
Charlie Kirk is no stranger to controversy. As founder of Turning Point USA, an organization that works to recruit students and a Project 2025 advisory member, Kirk’s long history of racist comments is especially troubling given the youth-oriented organization’s presence on more than 1,000 college campuses and successful fundraising efforts which have brought in more than $250 million since 2016. 

According to a speech Kirk delivered in December 2023, Martin Luther King’s history of Civil Rights activism is a “myth,” and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was “a huge mistake.” On January 23, 2024, Kirk questioned the abilities of Black airline pilots and the influence of DEI politics. “If I see a Black pilot, I’m going to be like, ‘Boy, I hope he’s qualified,’” Kirk stated on his podcast, which Turning Point claims is downloaded between 500,000 and 700,000 times per day.

Immigration is also a subject Kirk approaches head-on, repeating the oft-debunked white supremacist conspiracy theory of “The Great Replacement,” in which immigration is thought to be part of a master plan by “elites” to eradicate the white population of the United States and replace it with people of color, primarily immigrants.

On February 24, Kirk reposted a Fox News headline to his Instagram account, falsely claiming that “7.2M illegals entered the U.S. under Biden admin(istration), an amount greater than the population of 36 states.” Kirk added his own commentary, writing, “The ‘Great Replacement’ is not a theory, it’s a reality.”  The post was flagged by Meta as false news and misinformation.

And on March 8, Kirk tweeted “Joe Biden has overseen the largest foreign invasion in the history of the country. He wants you replaced.”

Even hardline Republicans are beginning to shy away from Kirk as he veers further and further to the right. Darrell Scott, a pastor from Ohio who was one of Trump’s first vocal supporters has publicly denounced Kirk, calling him a “racist,” and “white supremacist” who is “ trying to raise up a new generation of Hitler youth,” Newsweek reported in early February.

The Heritage Foundation: More Robots = More Babies
Roger Severino, the Heritage Foundation’s vice president of domestic policy, hosted an alarmist fireside chat on March 6 exposing the perils of, and offering solutions to, America’s declining birth rate. 

Severino called this decline in birth the “single biggest crisis facing our nation’s survival,” and warned of the “risk of losing American culture in two generations,” another factor in the “Great Replacement” conservatives so rabidly fear.

During the webinar, North Carolina US Senator, gun store owner, and election-denier Ted Budd and his wife Amy held forth on the decline of the family and values due to “bad ideas” from leftists. Heritage Foundation experts then displayed numerous charts and statistics to explain that the 1.6 birth rate in the United States, similar to that of other Western countries, falls far short of the 2.1 replacement birth rate. 

Heritage blamed multiple factors for the dwindling number of American babies, including higher education and campus disdain for the traditional family, women in the workplace, and DEI education and policies. Extramarital sex, pornography, COVID concerns, and the loneliness of young people, are also factors that create the “birth dearth”. 

“We’re telling too many people to go to college more and more and that college is the only way to success,” Lindsey Burke, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, said. “More time in higher education is prolonging adolescence and delaying marriage and family formation.” 

Panelists offered solutions to America’s fertility problem. They suggested the cultural crisis could be avoided by making student loans less accessible and thus discouraging young people from prioritizing, or even accessing, higher education. 

Birth rates would increase, they argue, if government would end what they perceive are hostile attitudes toward religion and “environmental dystopianism.” Civilization’s survival depends on marriage and family, and young people need to be taught that children are a gift from God. One way to ensure that more babies are born is to encourage homeschooling and develop more robots that can enter the workforce in place of women.

Liberty University: The Cost of Indifference to Sexual Assault
Project 2025 aims to shut down the Federal Department of Education and replace it with a presidential appointee who “should insist that the department serve parents and American ideals, not advocates whose message is that children can choose their own sex, that America is ‘systemically racist,’ that math itself is racist, and that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideal of a colorblind society should be rejected in favor of reinstating a color-conscious society,” according to its manifesto.

This planned dismantling of the current system comes too late for Liberty University, a Project 2025 partner whose disregard for women’s safety and basic rights has drawn the largest fine in Department of Education history. 

The evangelical university, mired in controversy since president Jerry Fallwell, Jr.’s resignation due to a sex scandal in 2020, was found to have fostered a “culture of silence” that led to underreporting of sexual assaults and victim shaming.

The Department of Education’s ruling was the result of Liberty’s violation of the Clery Act, which states that data on campus crimes must be reported and sexual assault victims supported by schools receiving federal aid.

The investigation was prompted by a lawsuit brought by 12 women against the University that was settled in 2022. The women, former students, detailed mishandled rapes and sexual assaults that occurred over 20 years. 

Their complaint argued that Liberty’s honor code — which forbids sex, living together, romance, and drinking — makes reporting such claims “difficult or impossible.” Liberty’s policies favored the accused and often resulted in retaliation against women brave enough to speak up, the investigation found. 

Previously, the largest fine ever levied against a University for Clery Act violations was $4.5 million, when Michigan State University was held accountable for its handling of Dr. Lawrence Nassar’s sexual abuse of female athletes.

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