Friday, July 05, 2024

Even in the Small Things, Trump cannot be Bothered with Facts.

 by Rod Williams, June 5, 2024 - Look at what Donald Trump posted today on his Truth Social: 

The first thing I thought when reading this, is I don't believe him. I know what Project 2025 is; how does not Donald Trump know? Project 2025 is a list of policy proposals from the Heritage Foundation to move America in a populist and conservative direction. Project 2025 is also called the Presidential Transition Project. 

Heritage used to be a mainstream conservative think-tank with scholars developing conservative policy proposals and provided the intellectual arguments and factual data to support those policy proposals. With the rise of Trump, they are less the wonkish, thoughtful, analytical conservative organization they once were. They have become Trumpian populist. Also, until a few years ago, they were exclusively an educational organization that did policy and did not do politics.  Now they do both and have a political wing called Heritage Action with active chapters across the country promoting Trumpian policies. While Heritage has moved in a more populist direction, it is not the equivalent of Steve Bannon's War Room or some of the nuttier Trumpian organizations and personalities. The organization still produces some meaningful policy proposals and contributes to the debate of ideas, but their populism and activism overshadows their more thoughtful analysis. Also, sometimes it seems as if the activist wing and the policy analysis wing are from two organizations and don't even talk to each other.

That Trump does not know of Project 2025 is hard to believe. Several publications have reported on the project. Heritage has several former Trump cabinet members on its board. Heritage was a major force is staffing Trump's 2016 administration. The New York Times reports that following the 2016 Trump victory, Ed Corrigan, the then vice president for policy promotion at the Heritage Foundation, was summoned to Trump Tower to join the senior leadership team of the Trump transition. Corrigan oversaw the staffing of 10 different domestic agencies. The influence of Heritage in this role has been reported in publications across the political spectrum. 

Project 2025 is now in the process of preparing the next Trump administration with conservative policy recommendations and with vetted and trained personnel to implement those policies. While Project 2025 is a project of Heritage, other conservative organizations are on the board of the project. Among these other organizations are American Enterprize Institute and American Legislative Exchange Council. These are organizations that may provide staffers who can provide sensible advice to the new president and implement his policies in a normal, rational, orderly, and legally permissible manner.  

It is inconceivable that Trump's team is not working with Project 2025. It is possible that Trumps knows what is going on and knows a group of people are working on policy proposals and staffing for his next administration and maybe he knows it "as those guys at Heritage," but simply does not know it as "Project 2025."  If so, then in less time than it took Trump to tweet the above, he could have selected "Project 2025," hit "search" and he would have known. 

Even in little things like the above Trump acts first and things later or thinks never. Staffers who served Trump, after leaving his employee have said that Trump seldom read policy and briefing papers. They say he would not even prepare before meeting world leaders. They found it frustrating. 

My impressions of Trump are that he lies a lot, is emotional, hold a grudge, expects absolute loyalty from those subordinate to him, does not understand the constitution or have a devotion to it, does not have a grasp of issues, is ignorant of history and economics and basic civics, not very smart, has authoritarian tendencies, and is crude, rude, insensitive, and has no shame. I do not think he is bigot or a racist or antisemite as the left sometimes says of him. 

Another impression is that he is arrogant, self-assured to a fault, is impulsive, and one of those people whose mind is made up and not to be confused with facts. He operates on gut instinct rather than data. I have known people like that. I think that is dangerous in a president. 


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