We Must Defeat Trump's Project 2025

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In Trump v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that presidents (and former presidents) are immune from criminal prosecution for "official acts" while they were in office. Can we agree that "Trump v. United States" is a fitting name for such a blow to the rule of law? Some have suggested that this decision isn't a big deal. After all, it amounts to an admission of what was already common practice. That may be true, but it still concerns me. My concern increases when we add immunity to the power of the presidential pardon.

There is a large group of people in the United States who would like to get rid of atheists and other undesirables. I imagine they'll start with immigrants and LGBTQIA+ people, but the rest of us won't be far behind. This group is currently organized around Trump, but he didn't create them. They existed long before him, and they will remain a threat long after he's gone.

What do you suppose is in store for us once Trump has regained the presidency and put Project 2025 into place? We know what he and his supporters think about us. We know that many of his supporters are prone to violence. Impeachment won't happen thanks to Republicans in the Senate. The threat of criminal prosecution is now moot. Is it hard to imagine that Trump might suggest violence? The presidential pardon is near absolute, so why not grant it to those who do his bidding?

If you've seen The Purge, you have some idea of what I have in mind. He doesn't have to give the order, but he can without having to worry about prosecution. Inciting violence is no longer a crime if a president does it. He doesn't have to use the police or military. Mobs of his supporters are eager to act. With the promise of pardons, look out!

But how realistic is this threat? I don't know. I hope it is little more than a dark fantasy. But I will say that it seems more plausible to me today than it did a few years ago. And the scariest thing might be that this threat can outlive Trump.

In the unlikely event that Biden defeats Trump, we'll breath a sigh of relief. That would be a big win and one I'd welcome. But our reprieve would be short-lived. Beating Trump doesn't dispel the hate among his supporters. It doesn't banish Christian nationalism. It doesn't end the attacks on the separation of church and state. He's an important figurehead today, but he's replaceable. The authors of Project 2025 aren't giving up anytime soon. 

And no, serious threats to democracy aren't limited to the United States either. The rise of something that resembles fascism has been evident in other countries too. Many of us used to consider the United States to be an important voice for democracy on the global stage. That's voice is harder to hear today.

For a variety of reasons, democracy is in danger in many places. We cannot take it for granted. If we want to preserve it at home and abroad, we'll have to work to do so. We can start with our next election. We can recognize what is at stake and show up to vote even if we aren't enthusiastic about our choices.

I'm glad that some continue to support President Biden. They see that the strength of his record outweighs a bad debate performance. They recognize that his limitations pale in comparison to those of the Project 2025 guy. I hope that those who are less-than-thrilled with Biden will show up to vote for democracy.

Image by Spike Summers from Pixabay

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