Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

We are underestimating the danger of Trump’s potential second term

Project 2025 threatens an upheaval of our current institutions and the lives of Americans everywhere
Jorgen Haland via Unsplash

When it comes to the 2024 elections, the imminent rematch between 2020 candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump is leaving many voters with a bleak outlook on the next four years for our country. President Biden’s underwhelming first term has left many voters with a sense of disillusionment, with some going as far as to plan on withholding their ballots come the November elections.

Many progressive voters are upset with the Biden administration’s failure to deliver on campaign promises that they find non-negotiable. It is important, however, to consider who and what we will be inadvertently aiding if we do not turn out in November in support of Biden.

Stagnancy is dangerous, but the alternative is far worse; Trump, if given a second term, has the potential to do irreversible damage to communities which cannot afford it—and to our nation as a whole. There are many moral scruples that will accompany any vote directly or indirectly supporting Trump; his record of proud sexual assault, racism and dishonesty should be enough to motivate voters of all affiliations to prevent his return to power. Yet, there is more at stake this time around than the threats he poses as an individual.

Project 2025 is a comprehensive framework that has been in the works within the Republican party for years. Composed of a plethora of republican politicians and organizations, the project has developed a 180-day “playbook” for the next conservative President. Behind the scenes, various politicians and actors have been training to step into appointed roles in the White House swiftly, to maximize the party’s likelihood of enacting drastic changes to the foundational structures of our government and nation.

It is impossible to delve into every outrageous proposal throughout the 920-page book. Many initiatives are blatantly sinister, and are dangerous to even entertain. Many policies outlined in the mandate are aimed at centralizing government and dismantling the administrative state, ensuring all government agencies are headed by figures which align with the Presidential agenda rather than career experts and bureaucrats.

Education is a pillar of our nation which would be deeply affected by the success of Project 2025. The plan as written in the playbook is to “eliminate” the Department of Education, claiming that parents should have more control over their children’s education than the federal government. Ironically enough, the federal government will be sure to exercise power when it comes to critical race theory, as the playbook outlines that it will be removed from all curriculums, along with assignments which require students “to defend the false idea that America is systemically racist.” Students in higher education will also be affected; Project 2025 states its intent to completely roll back loan forgiveness and do away with subsidized interest rates, meaning students who rely or have relied on borrowed money to go to school will have no present or future relief to their incurred debts.

An excerpt from the fourth page of the conservative manifesto sums up the general sentiments and paradoxes of the Project’s approach to civil rights. In approaching the alleged damage done to our nation’s first amendment protections by progressives, the group aims to remove “sexual orientation and gender identity, diversity, equity, and inclusion, gender, gender equality, gender equity, gender awareness, gender-sensitive, abortion, reproductive health, reproductive rights” as terms in all federal grants, legislations and regulations.

Perhaps most concerning of all is the Project’s goal of majorly increasing executive power; a partner of the project even argued recently that there is reason to repeal the 22nd amendment in order to allow Trump another term.

I could go on to detail the policies proposed that would damage our environment, target marginalized groups, lead to mass deportations and dismantle core institutions, but at this point you get the gist.

Project 2025 plans to completely reshape our government to fit the most extreme version of the conservative agenda—and not enough people are talking about it. Rather than laugh off the plan as too outrageous to ever come to fruition, we must consider the unprecedented times we are living in at this very moment; less than a decade ago, we thought the idea of Donald Trump as President was unrealistic. A year ago, Roe v. Wade protected abortion rights for half a century and was taken away in what seemed to be the blink of an eye.

We cannot afford to rely on what we believe to be in the realm of possibility when the stakes are this high. No matter your party affiliation or your opinion on Biden’s work thus far, no statement of protest or one-policy vote is worth giving Donald Trump and the extremists behind Project 2025 a platform for destruction.

Devon Chichester can be reached at [email protected].

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