Project 2025: Creating an American Dictatorship Skip to content

Project 2025: Creating an American Dictatorship

Think “it can’t happen here”? Guess what – it’s already being planned.

5 min read

Close your eyes for a moment and go with me on an imaginary journey.

Imagine a United States of America where there is no Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). No federal agency to go after crime syndicates, protect us from terrorist attacks, protect civil rights, and protect the US against foreign intelligence, espionage, and cyber operations.

Picture a reality without the Department of Homeland Security (DHC), the Department of Education (DOE), or the Department of Commerce (DOC). A reality where the Department of Justice (DOJ) is significantly weakened. Imagine an FCC and FTC stripped of their independence from the executive branch, effectively becoming mere extensions of the presidency.

Now, imagine an American president with virtually unlimited power. The framers of our Constitution knew the dangers of a monarchy or even a very powerful elected executive, so they distributed various powers to the three branches of government and designed checks and balances to keep any one branch from dominating the others. But what if a president could usurp those checks on his power?

Can you imagine a future where access to not only abortion but even contraception is eliminated or significantly reduced?  Where the president is free to use the powers of his DOJ to openly and unabashedly investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate his political opponents?

Picture, if you can, a Nazi-like persecution of suspected “illegals” across the country. People of Latin, Middle Eastern, and Asian descent, whether here legally or not, could be detained and held without trial for weeks, months, or longer.

Can you fathom an America in which over 50,000 well-trained and experienced federal government civil servants are given their walking papers after the presidential election, to be replaced by people hand-selected to align politically, ideologically, and religiously with the president and his supporters?

Welcome to the United States of America in 2025. An authoritarian theocracy where straight, white male evangelicals of European descent are first-class citizens — and virtually everyone else is left unprotected and unserved by their government. Or worse. 

You say it can’t happen? What if I told you the plan is already in place? All that’s missing is for Donald J Trump (or someone who shares his thirst for power and lack of respect for all Americans) to be elected.

It’s called Project 2025, and it is bone-chillingly terrifying.

A ‘policy bible’

Project 2025 is the result of decades of planning and preparation. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, is at the forefront of the movement. In 1981, Heritage published its Mandate for Leadership, which outlined a conservative agenda for the Reagan presidency. Since then, the document has been updated ten times, including the latest version. Heritage refers to the Mandate as a “policy bible.”

According to Wikipedia,

“Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts established Project 2025 in 2022 to provide the 2024 Republican presidential nominee with a personnel database and ideological framework, after civil servants refused to support Trump during his attempt to institute a Muslim travel ban, his effort to install a new attorney general to assist him in his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, and his calling for the use lethal force, saying ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts’ during the George Floyd protests.

“In April 2023, the Heritage Foundation published the 920-page Mandate written by hundreds of conservatives, most prominently former Trump administration officials. Nearly half of the project’s collaborating organizations have received dark money contributions from a network of fundraising groups linked to Leonard Leo, a major conservative donor, and [a] key figure in guiding the selection of Trump’s federal judge nominees.”

Although the Trump campaign officially seeks to distance itself from Project 2025, the truth is that this is a Trump-driven operation. One of his closest White House aides, Johnny McEntee, described as a “loyalty enforcer” for Trump, is a senior advisor to the project. Another top Trump advisor, Stephen Miller, is one of the architects of the project.

Consolidating power

Donald Trump has not hidden his personal agenda for a second term. He first wants to weaken or eliminate the obstacles that prevented him from fully exercising his will during his first term. These included the courts (to an extent), the non-political federal workers in the civil service, Congress, and his political appointees who refused to carry out his more extreme orders. 

The real action starts once those hindrances are gone or under his thumb.

Trump has openly stated that he will “go after” his political enemies, employing the DOJ and the intelligence community as his tools. He plans to unleash every federal agency at his disposal to erect sprawling detention camps, “scour the country for unauthorized immigrants,” and “deport people by the millions per year,” according to The New York Times.

He wants to implement a plan, articulated by former Trump official Russ Vought in the Heritage document, to direct the National Security Council to “rigorously review all general and flag officer promotions to prioritize the core roles and responsibilities of the military over social engineering and non-defense related matters, including climate change, critical race theory [and] manufactured extremism.”

Translation: Ensure all top officer promotions go to commanders who align with Project 2025 and Donald Trump’s goals.

Read between the lines here. Every dictator in history has had a private military force or has managed to convert the national military into one that accedes to his every wish, whether those wishes are in the best interest of the country or not. Once a would-be American dictator has consolidated control over all three branches of government, all he needs to enforce his will is control of the American military. 

We want change

Americans can be fickle. We tend to vote out the sitting president whenever we seek change, and we seek change often because we are seldom satisfied with the status quo. Virtually every presidential candidate who was challenging an incumbent has done this. Barack Obama made “hope and change” a cornerstone of his candidacy. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George Bush (both of them) said similar things in their campaigns. Change is almost always a great strategy when you’re the challenger because a sizable fraction of the population always sees themselves being overlooked.

But if Donald Trump is elected in November, the unprecedented changes we’ll see over the next four years will dwarf anything in our history. An unfettered Trump, with the Project 2025 playbook in his hip pocket, could transform our democratic republic into a strong-man-style dictatorship in the mold of some of his heroes, including Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un.

There will be no one to stop him — not his hand-picked Supreme Court, not his loyal servants, not even Congress, assuming a Trump victory also entails taking control of both houses.

If you think that can’t happen under our current system, consider that Germany in 1932 was a democratic republic until Adolf Hiter and his Nazi party garnered enough control through legal, constitutional means to seize total control of the country. Once they had done that, all pretense of operating as a legitimate, legally elected government went out the window. A democratic republic morphed into a ruthless, bloodthirsty dictatorship, virtually overnight. 

And there are striking parallels between post-World War One Germany and post 9–11 USA.

Those clamoring for major change in American government should perhaps consider the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” 

I’ve barely scraped the surface of the horrors of Project 2025 in this brief commentary. For a deeper dive, check out my sources for this piece. 



Written by Pete Koutoulas, a former weekly newspaper publisher and former columnist for the Winchester Sun. Cross-posted from WinCity Voices.

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