To Be Equal: Project 2025 is the new Southern Manifesto

(—“Project 25 is a radical, extreme, pro-authoritarianism plan pushed by conservatives who are desperate to take our country backwards. It is a movement led by far-right extremists that attacks our nation’s founding principles, such as our system of checks and balances, freedom of speech and of the press, and separation of church and state. These are the very principles that keep our country strong and make America the best nation on earth.”—U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu

Eliminating safe, legal abortion and effective contraception. Obliterating of the very mention of sexual orientation and gender identity, diversity, equity, and inclusion, reproductive health, and reproductive rights from every federal rule, regulation, contract, grant, or piece of legislation.  Replacing skilled civil servants with extremist partisan hacks.

This is Project 2025, the new Southern Manifesto. It is almost certain to be America’s future if Donald Trump is elected to another term.

Drafted in response to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education and signed by 19 Senators and 82 Representatives from the South, the Southern Manifesto—officially titled “Declaration of Constitutional Principles”—was a vow to uphold racial segregation and White supremacy.

Project 2025 goes even further. It seeks to re-implement a rigid social hierarchy that oppresses not only people of color, but also women, non-Christians, the LGBTQ+ community, working families, and immigrants.

Key to this dystopian agenda is purging the government of nonpartisan civil servants who are loyal to the Constitution and replacing them with extremist partisan hacks loyal only to Trump.

A list of non-partisan government officials who might stand in the way of Trump’s agenda already is being compiled by a dark-money “slime machine,” the Associated Press revealed this week. 

With the entire federal government under his direct control, Trump would be free to act on his vow to turn the Department of Justice into an instrument of retribution against his political adversaries.

The radical, repressive, and regressive regime previewed in Project 2025 includes:

  • Dismantling the foundations of immigration policy, tearing families apart, turning away desperate refugees, and stripping away protections for Dreamers.
  • Undermining climate change mitigation, environmental justice, and the transition to clean energy
  • Eliminating racial justice initiatives and preserving advantages for White Americans, even perverting the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to “investigate and prosecute all state and local governments, institutions of higher education, corporations, and any other private employers” with diversity, equity, and inclusion policies.
  • Gutting public education, wiping out Head Start and other support for low-income students, and withdrawing federal oversight of public schools.
  • Slashing health care insurance, putting 18 million Americans at risk of losing coverage entirely, killing the drug price provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act and Affordable Care Act’s protections for pre-existing conditions.
  • Shutting down access to safe abortions, contraception, and other reproductive health care, putting women’s lives at risk.
  • Deleting “sexual orientation and gender identity” from all federal rules, reinstating a transgender military ban, and limiting LGBTQ workplace discrimination protections.

Even the architects of Project 2025 understand that its grisly agenda appalls and disgusts a majority of Americans who would reject it in a free and fair election – just as they rejected Trump in 2020. But democracy prevailed then only because the Vice President and officials in the departments of Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security thwarted Trump’s attempted Trump coup.  If Trump manages to seize a second term, there won’t be anyone left in the federal government to stop him from undermining future election.

There won’t be anyone left in the federal government to stop his most extreme proposals, like disassembling the Veterans Administration, allowing Russian spies to remain in the country, shooting racial justice protestors, deploying the military against migrants, kicking undocumented children out of schools, or dropping nuclear bombs into the eyes of hurricanes.

The echoes of the Southern Manifesto’s in Project 2025 should come as no surprise, given the racist history of the Heritage Foundation, which spearheaded its production. The organization is rooted in the mid-1970s movement to protect racially segregated schools, waging it’s first public battle against multicultural textbooks —“n***er books,” as some opponents called them.

In fact, the coalition that developed Project 2025 includes at least nine SPLC-designated hate and antigovernment groups, including Alliance Defending Freedom, Center for Immigration Studies, and Moms for Liberty.

The original Southern Manifesto took aim at “outside meddlers” who sought racial justice. The new Southern Manifesto takes aim at “woke culture warriors.”  Trump’s allies say “woke” means as “the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.”

We stand guilty as charged and gladly assume the mantle of “warriors” in the battle for equity, inclusion, and democracy.



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