Ideology, Principles, and Fantasy

  • How Project 2025 is based on misconceptions;
  • Heather Cox Richardson on Trump’s plans and how many people seem to welcome them;
  • Slate on how Trump waffles on the abortion issue;
  • And how Arizona’s repeal of the 1864 abortion ban undermines conservative principles about abortion.

Right Wing Watch, Peter Montgomery, 1 May 2024: Heritage Foundation’s Snarky and Revealing Defense of Project 2025

Project 2025, a scheme led by the Heritage Foundation to “take the reins of government” after former President Donald Trump or another MAGA Republican becomes president, is backed by more than 100 right-wing organizations. The project’s harmful agenda and destructive operational plans have generated significant critical media coverage, to which Heritage has responded with snarky commentary that confirms the organization’s identity as a propaganda arm for the MAGA movement.

The occasion for this article is the response by Heritage to the media coverage of this plan, via a pamphlet called “5 Reasons Leftists HATE Project 2025”.

I’m not going to read the pamphlet, since the article at hand suggests the many irrational beliefs held by these people. Just two quotes.

Heritage also brags that Project 2025 will “reject climate hysteria.” Its pamphlet contains no recognition of the well-documented harms already caused by climate change and its potentially catastrophic future effects. Heritage dismisses the very idea of a “climate crisis” as simply “a tool for scaring Americans into giving up their freedom.” Like Trump’s “drill, drill, drill” ideology, Project 2025 focuses on maximizing fossil fuel production, abandoning sustainable development goals, and otherwise undermining or reversing federal government actions to protect the climate and regulate pollution.

The essence of short-term, selfish thinking. And

The fifth reason Heritage says that “leftists” hate Project 2025 is that it promises to “stop socialism in its tracks.” For MAGA movement leaders, the actual meaning of words or the truth of statements doesn’t seem as important as their potential propaganda value. Just as Heritage Foundation’s MAGA-minded president Kevin Roberts and Trump aides like Stephen Miller smear opponents as “communists,” Project 2025 lumps progressives together with both communists and fascists: “Leftists today are driven by the same rotten socialist ideas that nearly destroyed much of the world during the 20th century. The promise of socialism—Communism, Marxism, progressivism, Fascism, whatever name it chooses—is simple: Government control of the economy can ensure equal outcomes for all people.”

As it says, propaganda over actual meaning of words. Do they know what those words mean? Progressivism is the same as communism is the same as fascism? They are using these words merely as scare words. (If anyone are fascists, it’s them — a self-identified elite group imposing their ideas upon everyone.)


Trump sat down for an interview with Time Magazine in April, and it was just published. Heather responds.

Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American: April 30, 2024

He was “too nice” in his first term, and doesn’t intend to make the same mistake again. We’ve heard about some of these plans before.

He plans to use the military to round up, put in camps, and deport more than 11 million people. He is willing to permit Republican-dominated states to monitor pregnancies and prosecute people who violate abortion bans. He will shape the laws by refusing to release funds appropriated by Congress (as he did in 2019 to try to get Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to smear Hunter Biden). He would like to bring the Department of Justice under his own control, pardoning those convicted of attacking the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and ending the U.S. system of an independent judiciary. In a second Trump presidency, the U.S. might not come to the aid of a European or Asian ally that Trump thinks isn’t paying enough for its own defense. Trump would, Cortelessa wrote, “gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.”

What struck me was this, referring to Time Magazine’s Eric Cortellessa:

“I ask him, Don’t you see why many Americans see such talk of dictatorship as contrary to our most cherished principles?” Cortellessa wrote. No, Trump said. “‘I think a lot of people like it.”

Yes, this confirms my impression that, for all that conservatives claim to value the Constitution, they don’t actually believe in its principles. They’d prefer a strongman, as in tribal morality.

This is interesting too:

The idea that truthful reporting based on verifiable evidence is a plot by “liberal media” to undermine conservative values had its start in 1951, when William F. Buckley Jr., fresh out of Yale, published God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom.” Fervently opposed to the bipartisan liberal consensus that the federal government should regulate business, provide a basic social safety net, protect civil rights, and promote infrastructure, Buckley was incensed that voters continued to support such a system. He rejected the “superstition” that fact-based public debate would enable people to choose the best option from a wide range of ideas—a tradition based in the Enlightenment—because such debate had encouraged voters to choose the liberal consensus, which he considered socialism. Instead, he called for universities to exclude “bad” ideas like the Keynesian economics on which the liberal consensus was based, and instead promote Christianity and free enterprise.

(She’s referring the “bipartisan liberal consensus” that emerged after World War II, that included these policies, as he describes in her book DEMOCRACY AWAKENING.)

Does this tacitly admit that conservative values cannot survive in the face of “verifiable evidence”? Buckley felt it was superstition to suppose that “fact-based public debate would enable people to choose the best option from a wide range of ideas—a tradition based in the Enlightenment—because such debate had encouraged voters to choose the liberal consensus, which he considered socialism.”

Buckley, a prominent public intellectual in the 1960s, was addled by superstition, i.e. Christianity. He felt that his religion was a foundational basis for all belief that would survive any actual evidence about the reality of the world. He was wrong.

He was fresh out of Yale when he wrote those books. His magazine survives, though. (There are two magazines that focus on politics, on the left and the right. The one on the right is National Review; the one on the left is The New Republic. I remember the difference between these two — I don’t subscribe to either — by the word “review,” which suggests looking back to the past.)


Another piece about the Trump interview.

Slate, Molly Olmstead, 30 Apr 2024: The Most Alarming Answer From Trump’s Interview With Time, subtitled “He tried to thread the needle again—but he made a very scary promise.”

This piece focuses on Trump’s continued waffling on the abortion issue. Again, Republicans seem to have no moral principles they cannot compromise to win elections.

“You’ll have to speak to the individual states.” —Donald Trump, responding to the question of whether state governments should be allowed to monitor women’s pregnancies to know if they’ve had abortions.


And this. Orange.

Salon, Heather Digby Parton, 1 May 2024: Trump’s disturbing Time interview shows he has no idea abortion is a ticking time bomb for the GOP, subtitled “Donald Trump thinks he’s brilliantly found a way to evade responsibility for the backlash to overturning Roe”


And again. Principles? Or adjusting polices to win elections?

NY Times, 1 May 2024: Arizona Lawmakers Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban, Creating Rift on the Right

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