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June 14, 2024 15 mins
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(00:00):
I've had quite a few listeners andeven some friends who aren't around here and
don't listen to the show email measking about something called Project twenty twenty five.
And some people are conservatives who areinterested in it. Some people are
people who are not even particularly political. But for example, I got a

(00:21):
friend who lives in LA and hesaid he ended up getting in a slightly
political conversation with some LA liberal andthey brought up this thing that my friend
hadn't heard of, called Project twentytwenty five and started talking about it as
if it was were the apocalypse.And so I thought it would be really
interesting to find out what Project twentytwenty five is. It's project over the

(00:44):
Heritage Foundation and being done in coordinationwith some other folks joining us to talk
about it. The director of theproject, pauled Inns from Heritage Paul,
Welcome to Kowa. Thanks so muchfor being here. Hey, Ross,
great to be with you. Letme first ask you the most important question
of the day that I've been askingmy listeners. What is your oldest T
shirt? I think I have onefrom where I grew up outside of Baltimore,

(01:11):
and there's a place called Hershey Park, for people on the East Coast.
That's like the Hershey Talking Park.So I have one that says I
survived as super Duper Looper, whichwas a triple roller coaster back in the
day. Maybe some of the fansnow, but that would be circa early
eighties. I think I'm not wearingit obviously anymore. Very good exist now,

(01:32):
excellent answer. I got a lotof people who have T shirts from
the seventies, and I had oneperson who texted in with a T shirt
from the from the sixties. Allright, let's talk about Project twenty twenty
five. When don't we start atthe macro? What? What is it?
What's the goal? Well, youknow, I'm also trying to put
it in the context of the CobosiJoey Chester, So I don't know which

(01:53):
is the bigger news. Look twentyfive is in short, as their friends
on the left leg toize it,but quite frankly, it's quite the opposite.
It's an effort to really save ourconstitutional republic. And it's a sphere
of conservatives, over one hundred groupsand nonprofits coming together as volunteers to make

(02:14):
sure that the next conservative president isready to govern day one and the essence
of it is to bring Americans backinto their government. You know, our
federal government is supposed to be ofbuying and for the people, and it's
really we have a permanent government nowin Washington. So this is a recruiting
call, a real call for peopleall over the country to come working Washington

(02:37):
and serve the next president. Andthat's what we're intending to do, really
bring Americans back into their government andstart making it work for them again instead
of against them. And just soyou know where I'm coming from, I'm
very libertarian, so I'm probably withyou on most things about shrinking government to
the extent that it gets into culturalconservative stuff. I might not be with

(02:58):
you on that, but we'll we'lltalk about all of it. So I
assume this is predicated, at leastin the short term, on the proposition
that Donald Trump, rather than JoeBiden, is going to be the next
president. But how much is ittied to that versus being a standalone concept.
Well, it's actually predated even ofDonald's from running for president again.

(03:19):
And you know, to be clear, I'm I'm you know, I served
under Donald Trump. I'm really inpolitics because I was inspired by him.
But this week we stood up intwenty twenty two before any candidate had announced
he or she was running for president. And it's really a recognition that on
our side of the football, ifyou will, conservatives, libertarians, you
know, I've said, people ofcommon sense really are out man. That

(03:43):
the other side is our friends onthe progressive left there are always thinking about
how to take power when they're outof power, kind of scheming to get
back in. Our side were youknow, focused on God, country,
family, in our pursuit of ourown happiness, and we don't really pay
attention to governance. But over time, this federal government has become levias in

(04:06):
the nature of the last one hundredyears, we now have a permanent government.
The president under you know, theconstitution has invested all that executive power
is supposed to be in vested inthe president. Why because it's accountable to
the people. The president stands forelection every four years. But in point
of fact, we now have thiskind of permanent bureaucracy which has evolved into

(04:30):
a deep state where now we seethe weaponization of the actual government against the
candidates, you know, to withthe persecution with Donald Trump. But this
was to be clear, it's theheritage spurheading, and we've we've been involved
in presidential transitions ever since, helpingReagan stand up what would become the Reagan
Revolution. So what is new aboutit is that there's one hundred groups working

(04:56):
together that we put aside kind ofour petty differences and their conservatives and really
trying to make sure that we haveenough people coming to serve or of caliber
and are committed to the fight.Let me ask you a question that sort
of crosses between philosophy and practicality.So you mentioned that one of the goals
is to get good people, peoplelet's say, who have a truly constitutional

(05:23):
view of the proper role of government, to come work in government. And
I would say to you, Okay, that's good. But the only thing
that's really going to solve the problemis if government gets much smaller and can't
do nearly the stuff that it doesnow, because most of what government,
most of what the federal government doesnow is unconstitutional, and most of the

(05:44):
most of federal spending right now isunconstitutional. But the problem is that you
could bring in you know, youand me and all of our libertarian and
conservative friends who will go into youknow, be secretary of this and secretary
of that, and spend all thetime cutting regulation, and then the next
time a Democrat comes in, ifwe haven't actually shrunk all and like fired
half the people and made everything muchsmaller, they're gonna be able to put

(06:08):
everything back really really fast. Sowhat is a way to reform government that
is durable and will keep government somewhatunder control even if we get Kamala Harris
as president one day, which wenever will, but you know, we
have to start somewhere. I hateto say that the growth of it over

(06:30):
the last fifty years, and particularlyacute since bombed the forward as you know,
they've invested these kind of apparatics havea most like throwed in and all
aspects of the government. And withjust this explosion of the national debt to
thirty five trillion, the money isgussing in all directions. So you know,
it's like kind of where to beginto make the durable change. Though,

(06:54):
to be clear, we do haveto have a most a reformation,
and that's why we're coming up onthe two hundred and fiftieth birthday here of
our country. We need to getback to this constitutional underpinning and that you
know, how is that going tostart. Well, one, it's going
to start by by getting the dO H back in order and he weaponizing

(07:15):
the FBI. We're suffering through thekind of a really pinous chapter in our
history where you know, these thesepowers have been abused by a few who
are fully unaccountable. We have toget back in there and hold these people
accountable. Now, and what's happenedwith the kind of the j six prisoners,
what happened with Russia Gate. We'vejust seen a constant, uh kind

(07:40):
of march unabated by by the progressiveleft to abuse power. I get it,
and I'm with you. Is theteaching, But like you know too,
it's ultimately we have to send peoplethe Washington of caliber who are going
to have restraints. You know,we get the folks in Congress and they're
the ones, you know, pushingout these spending bills. So that's tough.

(08:03):
It is tough. And again Ithink, look, you're right,
it has to start somewhere. Wecan't you know, click our heels together
and suddenly have good government. Itdoes have to start somewhere. I just
my my hope is that if Trumpwins and if some of Project twenty twenty
five comes into place, and Iimagine that quite a bit of it will
that the good people who go intogovernment use the influence that they have in

(08:26):
the time that they have it toactually reduce the power of all these organizations
so that the next guy can't comein and just kick it right back up
right away. Just respond to thatquickly, And I want to get to
two more things. Yeah, that'svery much in our plan. Everyone can
go to Project twenty twenty five dotorg. We have a policy book there
detailing each chapter what a successful fouryears would look like for a conservative governance.

(08:52):
But you know, we're calling forthe abolition of a good thought to
seven agencies. Okayre good, andyou're talking about pushing the powers back down
to the states to the people,right. You know, we take some
inspiration through Elon Musk to the extentyou came aboard Twitter. And you know,
we wouldn't say that we could fireeighty percent of people, but he
showed you an enterprise that all ofthem are bloated over time when you don't

(09:15):
do kind of a spring cleaning.And uh so we are really looking at
trying to make federal government much moreefficiently and effective, but much more restraint,
so that that starts with an entireethos from the top. Okay,
so let me just jump back injust in the interested time. And you
know, one of the things thatI think you're gonna be fighting against is
that Donald Trump doesn't care at allabout reducing federal spending and doesn't care about

(09:39):
the debt and deficit. And you, like, maybe you personally are gonna
are gonna have to get Donald Trumpto stop spending like a Democrat, And
maybe you will and maybe you won't. That's my fear with that guy.
But you said early on in thisconversation that the left once power, absolutely
true, and you said our sideis focused on and I forget what all

(10:01):
the words were, but you startedwith God. And one of the things
that I think a lot of peopleon the left are afraid of, and
that folks like me who are libertarianat least have some concerns about, is
the injection, the further injection ofdirect religiosity into government. How would you
make someone like me who doesn't wantto see evangelical Christianity overtly represented in policy,

(10:26):
how would you make me feel betterabout Project twenty twenty five. Well,
briefly, on the first point,I don't accept the premise Trump being
committed to this over spending. Ithink there's only one or two candidates on
the ballot who would actually shut downthe government if he had to, because
it's US spending, and that's asTrump. So, you know, the

(10:48):
COVID spending was the shuey generous ofthem that said, you know, the
religiosity, I think, look,it's entire country was founded on freedom of
religion or none at all. Weall are here for a limited time and
we have to live and let live. That said, you know, a
lot of the moral underpinning of ourcountry came up today. Christian values,

(11:09):
this rule of law, all thisis underpinned by people working in that spirit.
To be clear, we're not advocatinga theocracy or any sort of state
like that, but we have tobe really clear that Christians and people of
faith are under attack right now.They have the FBI surveilling Catholics at Latin

(11:30):
mass. They have the FBI sayinghalf of the country could be domestic terrorists.
So it's you know, we haveto counterbalance it with kind of this
atheist that attack on people of faith. Well, the government should be neutral.
Look, I'm against those attacks onpeople of faith. That's that's terrible
too. But what I wonder aboutand only about ninety seconds left here,

(11:52):
and for those just shoining, we'retalking with Paul Dan's who's the director of
Project twenty twenty five at at theHeritage Foundation. But for example, do
you think we will see a pushat the federal level to have any some
kind of regulation on abortion, justto pick up one that's in the news
a lot. I mean, Ithink quite the contrary, that was the
upshot of the whole repealed v weight. Yeah, state issue. But you

(12:16):
know, there's other epingements on religiouspractice, forcing someone to adopt somebody else's
pronouns, to force this kind ofthe transgender attenda on everyone, whatever the
case may be. There's you know, making people of contents compelled to do
something in order to keep their livelihood, their profession. These are all you

(12:37):
know, attacked ultimately on faith basedpeople. So I think we can strike
the balance. We've done it overa good two hundred and fifty years,
but the last five years, tobe clear, has really seen an assault
on the religious liberty. So Ithink everyone thrives when religious people are able
to practice. I do too.I do too. I don't want the

(12:58):
federal government to be for a particularreligion or against religion. I want them
kind of out of it. Ijust don't want the government imposing a particular
religion's values on me through through legislation. Does that make sense, Yeah,
I think we're on the same page. I just think that, you know,
a lot of the characterization by thekind of the secular left of the

(13:18):
assault is to build up this boogymanof you know, a Christian state,
and it's it's really quite the opposite. Is trying to get back to Evans.
I'm very glad to hear that.And I think I heard you say
that Project twenty twenty five would notbe pushing for federal federal ban or federal

(13:39):
involvement in abortion and leave it tothe states. And I'm with you that
that's how it always should have been. I'm actually Paul, I'm actually pro
choice and was always vehemently against Roev. Wade. It was terrible law,
and it's always been a state issue, and if a state wants to
ban it, then let a stateban it. So it sounds like we
may be on the same page onthat. Well, you know, at
the end of the day, Projecttwenty twenty five is policy proposals and personnel

(14:03):
proposals. Anyone who's interested in servingin the next and then, you know,
libertarian conservative, check us out ofProject twenty twenty five dot or create
a profile. You can go online, learn about government, actually take coursework,
and you know, and this isyour opportunity to kind of get back
to the country. Love that.That's what we're at a stake right now

(14:24):
where people have to get off thesidelines and you either have to put up
or shut up. And that thatlike military service all your family, maybe
you did it yourself. This isakin to that you have to come serve
right folks. And also one ofthe things I wanted to do for my
listeners with this conversation is if youhave some leftist come over to you and
say Project twenty twenty five is goingto destroy the world, I wanted to

(14:46):
give you a sense of what it'sreally about. And I know liberals won't
like it, but that doesn't meanit's crazy. It might mean it's constitutional,
but liberals hate that. Paul Dan'sis director of Project twenty twenty five
at the Heritage Foundation Project twenty twentyfive dot org to learn more. Thanks
for your time, Paul, appreciatethe conversation motivation of us all right.

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