I Read Trump's Transition Plan So You Don't Have To (Part I)

An introduction to destruction

“The Republican Club” by Andy Thomas of Carthage, Missouri.

In 2016, Donald Trump was like a dog who caught a car. He really didn't know what to do with the Presidency, failed to appoint people to key posts, and wasted his mandate without mandem. In 2024, the big dog is running again, and this time the fleas on his back are ready. The Heritage Foundation and dozens of groups have dusted off their CVs and released a 920-page policy PDF outlining exactly what they're going to do once they catch the car, and exactly what legs they're going to pee on. Read it for yourself, or follow along for my snarky commentary.

Mandate For Mandem

This text is called Mandate For Leadership: The Conservative Promise and it's a reboot, like everything else in America culture. The original Mandate was written for Ronald Reagan in 1981 and, “by the end of that year, more than 60 percent of its recommendations had become policy.” Donald Trump is this generations Reagan I guess, another aging, pliant, and not too attentive asshole. Both documents were compiled by the Heritage Foundation, but potential victory has many authors, writing their own job descriptions.

The 2023 version both claims victory for Reagan and rails against “the ruling and cultural elite today,” but what we're really talking about is intra-elite competition. These Republican elites are just the other side of the same imperial coin, often going to the same elite universities. There is no awareness of this, however, why would there be? The introduction says, “the next Administration must not cede such authority to non-partisan “experts,” who pursue their own ends while engaging in groupthink, insulated from American voters,” but that is, of course, talking about those experts, not these ones.

The document says stuff like:

Today, nearly every top-tier U.S. university president or Wall Street hedge fund manager has more in common with a socialist, European head of state than with the parents at a high school football game in Waco, Texas. Many elites’ entire identity, it seems, is wrapped up in their sense of superiority over those people. But under our Constitution, they are the mere equals of the workers who shower after work instead of before.

This comes right after pages listing their own pedigrees (Oxford, Harvard, the Wall Street Journal, fancy law firms, etc). It's like their own sense of identity is based on superiority over Europeans. When do these authors shower, you wonder, and WTF does that even mean?


These experts, as introduced by the Heritage Foundation's Kevin Roberts, have four goals. I'll take these at face value before defacing them:

  1. Restore the family as the centerpiece of American life and protect our children.
  2. Dismantle the administrative state and return self-governance to the
    American people.
  3. Defend our nation’s sovereignty, borders, and bounty against global threats.
  4. Secure our God-given individual rights to live freely—what our Constitution calls “the Blessings of Liberty.”

The key issues are thus a hypocritical moralizing coming via Donald Trump of all people, the old ruse of 'small' government (with its corollary of big business), the designation of migrants and China as state enemies, and freedom of corporations above everything. To be honest, these are actually the same practices as the Democratic Party, just shorn of hypocrisy and diversity. The morals they do not possess are different and the state enemies are shuffled, but again this is intra-elite competition, not a game-changer in any way.

Harking back to imagined history, Roberts says “In 1979, the threats we faced were the Soviet Union, the socialism of 1970s liberals, and the predatory deviancy of cultural elites. Reagan defeated these beasts by ignoring their tentacles and striking instead at their hearts.” This begs the question, if these beasts were defeated, why are you still fighting them?

The old whine in new bottles is about commies again, this time the Chinese. Roberts says the next regime should “set defeating the threat of the Chinese Communist Party as its highest priority.” Then there's the new incarnation of '1970s liberals' as “the totalitarian cult known today as “The Great Awokening.” Sounds like the same beast that Reagan supposedly slayed, still tentacling.

This bipolar attitude is throughout the document. The enemy (whoever it is) is both pathetically weak and terrifyingly strong at the same time. They are both already defeated and about to defeat you. Despite Republicans being President nearly half of the time since Reagan, the country is almost completely fucked. “The countries where Marxist elites have won political and economic power are all weaker, poorer, and less free for it,” but, at the same time, “China is by any measure the most powerful state in the world other than the United States itself.” The document says, “There is no such thing as “the government.” There are just people who work for the government and wield its power and who—at almost every opportunity—wield it to serve themselves first and everyone else a distant second,” while it is literally a governing agenda, written by people that want to get government jobs.

The problems are generally made up and intellectually flaccid, but the solutions are real and and must be executed immediately (within 180 days). As Roberts says,

We solve them not by trimming and reshaping the leaves but by ripping out the trees—root and branch.

International organizations and agreements that erode our Constitution, rule of law, or popular sovereignty should not be reformed: They should be abandoned. Illegal immigration should be ended, not mitigated; the border sealed, not reprioritized. Economic engagement with China should be ended, not rethought... America’s vast reserves of oil and natural gas are not an environmental problem; they are the lifeblood of economic growth.

Now, bear in mind, this is all stuff that Biden is doing, just more hypocritically. Biden is eviscerating the UN in plain sight by veto-protecting a genocide, and using the torture of UN workers to cut off funding of the UNRWA. Biden is deporting people faster than Trump did, and has pushed for legislation to let him completely seal the border (violating the right to claim asylum). Biden has continued Trump's trade war with China and increased oil production to record levels. The difference is that Biden puts colored people and women in front of him to do it, they're literally just doing the meme. Project 2025 is really all-American policy, the conservatives just want to do it without all hand-wringing.

The fact is that there is no lesser evil in America, there's just one side that weasels about it, and tries to be a more inclusive evil. Conservatives are at least refreshing in that they say 'fuck it, we're evil, deal with it.' Or as Roberts described Reagan's Cold War policy, “We win and they lose.” 'Us and them' pervades this document constantly, you could say it's its unifying creed.

The Blame Game

When I say 'intellectually flaccid' what I mean is that at no point in the Mandate For Leadership do they try to explain themselves. Roberts says, “China is a totalitarian enemy of the United States, not a strategic partner or fair competitor,” but, like, how? China makes tons of products for America, and even America's arm's industry can't function without Chinese inputs. They literally can't bomb China because the bomb parts are made in China. It's insane posturing.

Later, Christopher Miller says, “By far the most significant danger to Americans’ security, freedoms, and prosperity is China,” but this is also not explained. What has China done, sell them things at a fair price? What China has not done is encircle America with military bases or lecture America about their internal politics. As with everything in White Empire, every accusation is actually a confession. America is not a strategic partner or fair partner, and America is the most significant danger to everybody, including 'Americans'.

We'll get into it later, but the main problem seems to be China developing at all and doing stuff in Asia, where it lives. In American terms 'strategic partner' is someone like Germany (whose pipelines can be blown up at will) and 'fair competitors' are the rest of the EU (whose economies can be sacrificed). What they really mean is that China refuses to be their vassal, which is common to everybody on their hit list (Iran, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, etc). Hence when America says 'threat', they mean someone who isn't sufficiently threatened by them. It's not hypocrisy, it's hegemony.

Trying To Pivot To Asia, Again

The truth is that American President's since Obama have been trying to 'Pivot To Asia' (ie, China), but they keep stepping on rakes in the Middle East and Russia along the way. In war games America wouldn't have survived more than a few weeks of high intensity (expeditionary) war, and now they've blown most of their ammo in Ukraine. It's hard to see how an Army that's been defeated by the Taliban and a Navy defeated by Yemen pivots anywhere, but America Presidents keep vainly writing checks their asses can't cash.

The real goal here seems to be having some enemy to blame America's ills on, rather than American elites in general. Hence both elites are in a racist race to scapegoat somebody. Democrats try to blame Russians for everything and Republicans blame China and migrants, and it's really just a matter of degree. What Republicans seem to be trying to do here is construct a 'stabbed in the back' narrative (a la Nazi Germany), blaming Americans' declining life expectancy and finances on China. As Roberts says,

For 30 years, America’s political, economic, and cultural leaders embraced and enriched Communist China and its genocidal Communist Party while hollowing out America’s industrial base... Then came the rise of Big Tech, which is now less a contributor to the U.S. economy than it is a tool of China’s government... these really are not many issues, but two: (1) that China is a totalitarian enemy of the United States, not a strategic partner or fair competitor, and (2) that America’s elites have betrayed the American people.

As you can see, they generally identify the actual problems with America—elite cannibalization, way too big tech—but then dump all the blame, falsely on China (and also migrants). Basically the people making their stuff and feeding them, and not the corporations making the actual decisions, regardless of administration. All America's political charade really offers is a blame game for the masses, while corporate beings continue to make masses of money.

That is the real thrust of this intellectually flaccid document. When they say 'restore the family', they mean wholly superficial shit like, “eliminating marriage penalties in federal welfare programs and the tax code and installing work requirements for food stamps.” Or “deleting the terms sexual orientation and gender identity (“SOGI”), diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Or saying that “Pornography should be outlawed.” They also dust off old American shibboleths like “parents’ rights as their children’s primary educators should be non-negotiable” (whistling back to segregated schools) and banning abortion (another weird American dog-whistle). The fact that Trump and his children had a liberal, New York education and that Trump probably had an open account at abortion clinics is irrelevant. It's all a game and the name of the game is blaming.

What To Cut

This document is deeply thin on actual solutions for actual problems because the deep assumption is that it's not their problem. It's China's problem, it's migrants problems, it's those elite's problem. Just hit 'them' hard enough and everything should be peachy.

Hence while they identify the cancer of the 'administrative state' consuming America, they misdiagnose the problem as being “cultural institutions like public libraries and public health agencies,” and not the military industrial complex, which consumes the vast majority of discretionary spending. The document says:

The Conservative Promise lays out how to use many of these tools including: how to fire supposedly “un-fireable” federal bureaucrats; how to shutter wasteful and corrupt bureaus and offices; how to muzzle woke propaganda at every level of government; how to restore the American people’s constitutional authority over the Administrative State; and how to save untold taxpayer dollars in the process.

Finally, the President can restore public confidence and accountability to our most important government function of all: national defense.

But just look at the budgets, under Biden or Trump. Cutting libraries and public health is like trying to lose weight by cutting out the tomato and lettuce, and still having a big double patty of human flesh on a Raytheon bun.

One interesting part is that while the document still spins complete fairy tales about how capitalism, especially late stage rent-seeking capitalism, works (“in countries with a high degree of economic freedom, elites are not in charge because everyone is in charge”), they make a one sentence nod to “antitrust enforcement against corporate monopolies.” Will they retain Lisa Khan lol?

However, the intro does say, “the next President should crack down on the crony capitalist corruption that enables America’s largest corporations to profit through political influence rather than competitive enterprise and customer satisfaction.” But then who funded this $22 million project, and who feeds the fleas in between administrations? They're obviously not talking about those crony capitalists, that's mandem. The central thesis of this document is still 'us vs. them,' always.

What Not To Cut

What they (re: Trump) want to cut is social services, public education, DEI initiatives, basically all the lipstick on the pig but not the pig itself. In fact, they want to baste the pig in oil and roast it. These conservatives—somewhat analogously to Russia here—want to take the realpolitik view of just leaning into fossil fuels. Roberts says,

The next conservative President should go beyond merely defending America’s energy interests but go on offense, asserting them around the world. America’s vast reserves of oil and natural gas are not an environmental problem; they are the lifeblood of economic growth. American dominance of the global energy market would be a good thing: for the world, and, more importantly, for “we the people.”

Full-spectrum strategic energy dominance would facilitate the reinvigoration of America’s entire industrial and manufacturing sector as we disentangle our economy from China. Globally, it would rebalance power away from dangerous regimes in Russia and the Middle East. It would build powerful alliances with fast-growing nations in Africa and provide us the leverage to counter Chinese ambitions in South America and the Pacific.

I'll ignore the climate change part because, within American politics that's just a pious platitude. Biden pretends to care about climate change but has actually drilled and fracked more than anyone before, the same as Obama proudly did before. There is no political pay-off for actually cutting fossil fuels and there's no cost to just lying about it, which is all Democrats do.

What I will point out is that the 'reindustrialization' this document discusses is a physical, political impossibility. We were passed a huge blunt in the form of fossil fuels and we're at the roach end now. It's a non-renewable resource and we're just running out. America is fracking its last vein and there simply isn't enough (economically viable) oil to 'Make America Great Again'. The problem is not political will or regulations and it's not even the climatic consequences, America simply doesn't have the natural or human resources for another economic boom and, even if they did, the planet would just explode even faster. This rerun strategy is akin to saving the Titanic by laying on more steam, while most of the engine room is dead or would rather be YouTubers.

What's interesting to me—which is why I read my enemies—is that Roberts correctly identifies the actual problem of climate collapse, which is philosophical humanism, or what Dr. Tom Murphy calls human supremacy. As Roberts writes it:

At its very heart, environmental extremism is decidedly anti-human. Stewardship and conservation are supplanted by population control and economic regression. Environmental ideologues would ban the fuels that run almost all of the world’s cars, planes, factories, farms, and electricity grids. Abandoning confidence in human resilience and creativity in responding to the challenges of the future would raise impediments to the most meaningful human activities. They would stand human affairs on their head, regarding human activity itself as fundamentally a threat to be sacrificed to the god of nature.

He is rightly wrong. Human affairs do need to be stood on their head for other lifeforms to have a chance to live, but nevermind now. Industrial civilization has no reverse gear. The old gods of weather are angry and they're just going to clean slate everything. These guys are focused on a change of administration and going back to the 1980s because American culture is actually dead and has to reboot everything. But times have changed. These are the end times, scientifically speaking, if you must be a heathen.

In the 1980s, after what westerners call the Oil Crisis, there was a clear fork in the road. The climate science was already there, international instability was already there, and research like the Limits Of Growth had come out predicting collapse by about the 2020s if people didn't change, dramatically. The Reagan Revolution was effectively a counter-revolution against all this. The reacted against the changing consciousness of the 60s and 70s and acted against global changes with coups, corruption, and invasions. The alarm had been sounded clearly in the 1970s but they hit the snooze button for another few generations.

They just continued the American dream a little longer, drilling, killing, and printing money to paper over the cracks that appeared. Other honestly wrong scholars like Francis Fukuyama called this the 'end of history' and it was, because Western Civilization honestly ended then. This is just the coda, where everything is a reboot, including this policy document. They're just harking back to douchebags of the past, like that will cleanse everything.

This document is fascinating and I won't even call it fascist, the truth is that the Nazis took notes from America. Project 2025 is just the American Project, shorn of hypocrisy. I haven't even gotten to the demonization and brutalization of an entire category of 'illegal' people that defines much of 'Project 2025'. This is just the intro. Wait till you see where it leads.