The permanent bureaucracy and its backers are having conniptions over Project 2025, an endeavor to ensure the next conservative president is ready to govern from day one. Truth to tell, the denizens of the permanent state are not wrong to fret.
Those of us working on this project intend to make sure that the deep state can no longer throttle conservative governance through administrative sabotage. This is also true for the institution that reflects the views, biases, and mores of the permanent state rather than the public itself: public broadcasting.
Project 2025 aims to make sure that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) ceases to receive public funding, so conservative taxpayers are no longer forced to pay for NPR and PBS, which CPB funds. As Thomas Jefferson put it, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagations of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”
The men and women who work for the federal bureaucracy may be great people individually, but nobody elected them, and therefore, they too often escape accountability. Nobody can throw them out on their ear at the next election. And therein lies the problem, as they have arrogated to themselves powers that belong to the three traditional branches of government.
Trump’s first impeachment, for example, came from the swamp, and there were many anecdotes about how often and how brazenly members of the bureaucracy simply told political appointees trying to implement his agenda, “No, we’re not doing that.”
But this is not about Trump. Those of us who have worked in past Republican administrations know the reluctance of federal bureaucrats to go along with conservative policy didn’t start with Trump – nor will it end with him. It’s no surprise that the surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland are all deeply blue, while the District of Columbia itself voted 95% Democrat in the last presidential election.
So, ensuring that the deep state cannot disrupt the work that the American people elected a president to do is precisely one of the top aims of Project 2025. It is led by my Heritage colleague Paul Dans, the former chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management.
The project Dans leads “brings together 45 conservative organizations ready to get into the business of restoring this country through the combination of the right policies and well-trained people.”
This is how new people would be brought in. But how would the boycotters be dealt with? PBS recently ran an Associated Press story that explained how they think it will happen. “Much of the new president’s agenda would be accomplished by reinstating what’s called Schedule F—a Trump-era executive order that would reclassify tens of thousands of the two million federal employees as essentially at-will workers who could more easily be fired,” the report said.
“It frightens me,” AP and PBS quoted professor Mary Guy as saying. “We have a democracy that is at risk of suicide. Schedule F is just one more bullet in the gun,” Guy added.
The Left is scared. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, another who is never one for nuance, said Project 2025 will “radically change the form of governance that we have in the United States so as to concentrate all the powers of the government in a single leader.” It is “fundamentally opposite to the whole idea of why we exist as a country in the first place,” she claimed.
Perhaps Maddow was absent on the day the history teacher discussed government being “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” Nobody elected the some four million-strong federal bureaucracy.
MSNBC is a private network, and has every right to employ Maddow or whomever else it pleases. The folks who run public broadcasting, however, should have realized that because they draw money from Americans across the political spectrum, they should have played the news and commentary down the line.
They don’t do this, and haven’t bothered to in decades. In but one of the most recent examples, “It’s Been a Minute,” an NPR show aimed at younger audiences, recently ran an episode on how capitalism isn’t “the answer for black people.”
We don’t need to show 1,000 examples of this. NPR hasn’t bought into just anti-capitalism (read: Marxism), but into its much more noxious cultural variant as well. As the show remarked, “Economics reporters weren't talking about it; culture reporters were.” For NPR, it’s “Latinx,” and “ze/zir,” all the way.
This happens to be the view of the Left that the great left-of-center thinker Ruy Teixeira calls the “Brahmin Left.”
“The fact is that the cultural Left in and around the Democratic Party has managed to associate the party with a series of views on crime, immigration, policing, free speech, and, of course, race and gender that are quite far from those of the median working class voter (including the median non-white working-class voter),” Teixeira wrote.
There is no reason the non-Brahmins should pay for this in the form of a bureaucracy that thinks like this or a broadcaster that reflects these views. In my contribution to Project 2025, I wrote that, “The 47th president can just tell the Congress, through the budget he proposes to Congress, and through personal contact, that he will not sign an appropriations spending bill that contains a penny for the CPB.”
If Maddow doesn’t like it, so be it.
This piece originally appeared in Restoring America by the Washington Examiner