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The Four Pillars of Project 2025 and the RNC Platform

#3 in the Series

By Judey Kalchik Published 15 days ago Updated 15 days ago 5 min read
Created by the author with Canva

This is the third installment of a deeper dive into Project 2025 and The Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank behind it. There are Four Pillars to Project 2025, as shown in the illustration above.

Pillar 1: Mandate for Leadership Book

We'll start with a free link to the 900+ page book behind the whole thing, The Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise (Mandate, first published in 1981 it has been reprinted 9 times) is the first Pillar in Project 2025.

Reprinted every four years since 1981, it has been given to United States Presidents by member of The Heritage Foundation (Heritage), many of which have then been added to the Presidents administration team and federal agencies. Starting with Ronald Reagan, many Presidents implemented recommendations outlined within it, but none so many as the 45th President, Donald Trump (page 884 of the Mandate), who implemented 64% of its policy recommendations.

This anecdote from page 885 shows the lie in Trump's recent protestation that he doesn't know anything about Project 2025, although he may be ignorant that it is a new edition of his old playbook, the Mandate:

page 885, Mandate, author Edwin Feulner

Given that track record there is no reason to believe that this latest edition, written specifically with Trump in mind, would not have a similar impact on the governance of the United States and the lives of its people. Chapter headings of the book explain that the reach is both wide and deep:

1) Taking the Reins of the Government: covers The White House office, Executive Office of the President of the United States, Central Personnel Agency.

2) The Common Defense covers: Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State; the Intelligence Community, US Agency for Global Media, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Agency for International Development.

3) The General Welfare section covers: the Departments of Agriculture, Education (remember Betsy DeVoss in his first administration? yup, she was a heritage-suggested appointee)Energy, EPA, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development (Ben Carson? yup- and he's one of the writers in this updated version and wrote this section), Interior, Justice, Labor, Transportation, Veterans Affairs

4) The Economy section covers: the Departments of Commerce and Treasury, and Export-Import Bank, Federal Reserve, Small Business Administration, and Trade.

5) Independent Regulatory Agencies section covers: Securities and Exchange Commissions, Consumer federal protection Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Election Commission, and Federal Trade Commission.

That's a lot of work for any administration, and Heritage outlines both the current policies and programs and makes directive for every one of them. It will need a huge staff to implement it, and Heritage has that covered in Pillar 2.

Pillar 2: The Personnel Database

As they have for all previous administrations since Reagan, Heritage is amassing a pool of hand-picked applicants eager to be part of a conservative Presidency. With an emphasis in the interview questions of what the applicant 'believes' instead of their KSA (Knowledge/Skills/Abilities) it's worrisome that such a pool might now be up to the task.

Unlike the way it was managed in the 80's, Heritage is now employing technology and online applications to create their database. The idea is to remove legacy and conventional appointees and replace them with pre-selected group-think people that will execute directions without delaying them with questions and concerns. Heritage President Kevin Roberts states that it is 'orders of magnitude' bigger than anything every assembled, the goal is to 'take back out government'.

If you'd like to review the questions and/or apply, here's the link:

Pillar 3: Presidential Administration Academy

This pillar is a free online-only program to 'prepare and equip future political appointees' to be ready for Day One of a conservative administration. It is called 'Training' on the Project 2025 website and it reads like a fundamentalist home-schooling dream of Proverbs 22:6 'Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he'll not depart from it."

There are four courses that provide certificates of completion. They range from beginner (Prepare to Serve) up to Advanced (Conservative Governance: Advancing Policy). They centered on creating a group to "work with the media to advance the President’s agenda" " how to draft a rule that will pass judicial review", "leverage federal grants and contracts", "explore best practices for social media" and more. (Who needs Russian bots when we can grow them at home!? Am I right?)

Taught by Heritage Foundation members, current and former politicos like Jeff Small (Lauren Boebert's Chief of Staff), James Braid (Deputy Chief of Staff to JD Vance (R-OH)).

Is there something similar for those that identify as moderate, liberal, independent, etc.? If not: why not? Clearly instruction/indoctrination is part of this plan and the way the public is piecing together knowledge about Project 2025 is scattershot at best. Who and when will something less Children-of-the-Corn be in place for those left cold by the Heritage Foundation plans?

When you check out the site (and yes- I am tempted to get certified to better understand what they are doing. This has continued for over 40 years and I have no certainty that it will end in 2025) check out the YouTube recruiting video by the Trump Campaign's Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt and the always-Trumper Stephen Miller.

Pillar IV: the 180-Day Transition Playbook

The actual 180-Day Transition playbook may or may not be a separate document. The Project 2025 website describes it as a 'comprehensive, concrete transition plan for each federal agency', so it most likely expands on the framework created by the sections of the Manifesto.

Also: there are many members of the Republican National Committee Platform Committee with direct links to project 2025:

  • The RNC Platform Committee policy Director and former Trump Cabinet Member Russ Vought (he wrote the 2025 Manifest's chapter on Executive Office of the President).
  • The Deputy Policy Director is Ed Martin (Project 2025 advisory board)
  • Committee member Tony Perkins (President of Family Research Council and Project 2025 advisor)

And it most likely also expands on the just-released RNC platform, which adopted Trump's Make America Great Again message. (The RNC did not have a platform in 2020).

The twenty statements that make up the platform (Printed in ALL CAPS, I am NOT KIDDING.) align with the content of the 2025 Manifesto. Long on t-shirt slogan impact and short on tactics the RNC/Trump platform may be the Cliff's Notes version of the 180-Day Playbook.

Free link to the 2024 GOP platform:

The next installment of the series will identify the action steps for Project 2025, as outlined within the Manifesto and the ways that supports the RNC/Trump MAGA platform. That installment will be linked here once it is active.

Here are links to the first two installments in this series:


Your comments and tips are welcome.

As a freebie from me: You might enjoy following the Popular Information blog of Judd Legum, who does amazing investigative work. This is one of his latest, which has connected many of Project 2025 members to the Trump Administration.

white housetrumptradetechnologypresidentpoliticspoliticiansnew world orderlegislationhistoryfinanceenergyeducationdefensecybersecuritycorruptioncongressactivism

About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

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Comments (3)

  • Andrea Corwin 15 days ago

    As a retired Fed who worked in HR and IT security this is frightening. It is their plan to tear down the government and replace with their unethical friends. Ethics regulations were put in place and updated along the years as cheaters gamed the system (Clarence Thomas is one but he isn’t covered by the ethics rules). I am so happy you took the time to put this out there. Rick’s comment below is so true. We are a democracy in the U. S. and must keep it that way. I think Biden should be testing the SCOTUS ruling on immunity. Maybe he should declare we aren’t have I g another election!!

  • Thank you for breaking this down and putting it out there. People need to know that this election is much more than a man who gave a poor debate performance. We must do everything we can to ensure that Donald trump does not win the presidency - this is scary stuff. trump and this Project 2025 will turn the presidency into an imperial rulership and trump will stay there until he dies. Joe Biden is our best chance to defeat Project 2025. We are not voting for just Joe Biden but we are voting for his entire administration which is very competent and has been one of the most productive administrations of the past 75 years. Joe Biden may not be able to speak as well as he once did - but he is still an intelligent and compassionate man with decades of experience. He can get the job done. Biden is still our best bet to combat this right wing tyranny.

  • Margaret Brennan15 days ago

    Scary stuff. I'm glad you nutshelled it.

Judey Kalchik Written by Judey Kalchik

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