Black and progressive lawmakers ring alarm on Trump’s Project 2025
Kevin Roberts, the neo-fascist president of the Heritage Foundation, speaks at a "religious" gathering in Nashville. He coordinated the formulation of Trump's Project 2025 which closely parallels the GOP platform. He says we are in the midst of a second American revolution which will be "bloodless if the left allows it to be." It is his right wing followers he should be lecturing about bloodlessness. When they attacked the U.S. Capitol five people ended up dead. | George Walker IV/AP

WASHINGTON—A progressive political group is sounding the alarm on the details of Donald Trump’s plans to abolish worker rights should the prospective Republican nominee triumph over Democrat Joe Biden in this fall’s election. And the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists declares civil rights are threatened, too.

Specifically, Trump’s “Project 2025,” would “curtail unions and eliminate worker protections” if  Trump wins, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee warns. The project, crafted at Trump’s behest by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and even farther-right groups, also would trash many other protections workers and the rest of the country now take for granted, the PCCC adds.

“Project 2025 is the right-wing blueprint for a second Trump presidency. It represents a takeover of all parts of our government by dangerous, power-hungry extremists–including unilateral actions by an extreme president, who now has immunity from prosecution to threaten our freedoms and allow billionaire donors to loot America even more,” PCCC says.

CBTU President Terry Melvin echoes the threat and pairs it with a call to action.

“Let us mobilize our collective strength to safeguard the values we cherish and prevent their erosion,” Melvin adds in an e-mail. “The Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 poses a grave threat to our freedoms. Each and every action we undertake fortifies our unified voice and empowers us to advocate for the nation we envision.

“We must rise in solidarity to avert the impending destruction that would result from a second term of 45,” Melvin added, referring to Trump by the number signifying his presidency.

“Reach out to those in your communities who are struggling with making the right choice, which is voting for President Biden. Share your own experiences, the benefits you’ve gained, and the solidarity that comes with standing together,” Melvin urges.

The list of the Trump Project 2025 plans is long, but it omits the biggest item: Trump’s plan to be “a dictator on day one” but not afterwards—an already-scary statement Democratic President Joe Biden, believes Trump would observe.

After all, Trump himself said he would junk parts of the U.S. Constitution, and so did his lawyers, in a Colorado case over a year ago. The closest PCCC comes to discussing that threat is saying Trump’s project would “continue to pack the Supreme Court and lower courts with right-wing judges.”

For workers and unions, PCCC has a large factual basis for its warning about Trump’s detailed takeover plan for a second White House term.

In his White House term, preceding Biden’s, Trump stacked the National Labor Relations Board majority with anti-worker ideologues. He also named, as General Counsel—the NLRB’s top enforcement officer—Peter Robb, a corporate-side labor lawyer, who later pledged to roll back worker protections enacted for the last 90 years, since the National Labor Relations Act’s passage.

Crafted legal justification

As a young Justice Department attorney, Robb crafted the legal justification for Ronald Reagan’s wholesale firing of the unionized Professional Air Traffic Controllers 43 years ago. That PATCO firing is important. The union’s members were forced to strike in 1981 due to unsafe working conditions in one of the government’s most high-stress jobs.

The PATCO firings, and the fact Reagan got away with them—virtually eliminating one union whose leaders had endorsed him the year before—signaled to the criminal corporate class that it was “open season” on workers and unions. This is why calls by some Democrats these days to remember how great Reagan was, as opposed to today’s Republicans, are patently absurd and help feed the right-wing misinformation machine.

For Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, the Walton clan of Walmart, and their ilk, it’s been a war on workers ever since. They’ve taken Reagan’s, Robb’s, and Heritage’s ball and run with it, aided by the Republican-stacked judiciary and U.S. Supreme Court.

And during Trump’s White House term, his appointees smashed one small union, for immigration law judges, and destroyed many worker rights for federal employees. His right-wing aides, recruited from the Heritage Foundation, made clear they wanted Trump to extend his repression to all private and public sector unions and workers, too.

The PCCC is sounding the alarm about Trump’s Project 2025, though often the Democratic establishment of pundits, pollsters and campaign operatives isn’t.

The PCCC won accolades from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and progressive champion Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. More support came from Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the lead House prosecutor of the second Trump impeachment for the since-convicted felon’s invasion, insurrection, and attempted coup d’état at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Besides obliterating workers and their rights, the PCCC summary of Trump’s Project 2025 says it would “give Trump the power to fire tens of thousands of government workers and replace them with MAGA extremists, take over the Department of Justice and allow it to be used for retribution against anyone Trump decides and prohibit or restrict the FBI from combating the spread of misinformation and disinformation.”

Project 2025 also declares Trump would “give additional tax breaks for corporations and the 1%”—which he’s already promised both on the campaign trail and to fossil fuel executives—“cut Social Security and Medicare, raise the retirement age, and end the Affordable Care Act.”

Trump’s Project 2025 would also “ban abortion without exceptions, restrict or ban contraceptives,” end marriage equality, raise prescription drug prices—which Biden has lowered in the case of insulin for millions of diabetics—and eliminate the federal Education Department while directing taxpayer dollars to “private religious schools and potentially teach Christian religious beliefs in public schools.”

School lunches, which primarily serve students from low-income households, would be on the chopping block. “Civil rights & diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) protections in government” would be tossed. So would “African American and gender studies in all levels of education” and “books and curriculums about slavery.”

Biden has made those same points, but his details, including the havoc from Project 2025, have gotten lost in the brouhaha among the chattering class over the president’s stumbling performance in the first debate with Trump. Pundits, pollsters, poohbahs, and scared politicians on the Democratic side of the aisle are instead caterwauling about Biden’s performance and demanding he leave the race.

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Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Award-winning journalist Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of the union news service Press Associates Inc. (PAI). Known for his reporting skills, sharp wit, and voluminous knowledge of history, Mark is a compassionate interviewer but tough when going after big corporations and their billionaire owners.