Since winning election to the White House in 2016, Donald Trump has had a chokehold over the Republican party. His supporters are a very vocal minority of conservatives, and have managed to strong-arm much of the government in the months and years since Trump left the White House.

The Natural Flow of Political Beliefs

In some ways this is the natural flow of politics. Groups with voices and power are able to influence policy decisions, because politicians want to remain in power, and will therefore go with what they believe the most vocal of their parties want.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate

In the Democratic party, this has resulted in a far-left faction that are pushing for many liberal ideals that are standard in other first-world nations. Things like Universal Healthcare and government funded public universities are the norm in other first-world countries, but have been decreed as socialist and too liberal in America by the far right. 

Darker Beliefs in the Far Right

For the far right, though, these beliefs have become decidedly darker. Many of the beliefs of the far right have veered into fascist territory, going against the values that many people in this faction of conservatives claim to hold dear.

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Indeed, while the far-right likes to use buzzwords like “socialism” and “groomers” to describe those on the left, for many independent analysts, this is mere propaganda. The far right, on the other hand, has started to dig into some very dangerous beliefs, ones that many people believe could spell the end of the American experiment with Democracy, should they be allowed to take hold.

Ideas Pushed by the Former President

Many of those beliefs have been pushed and supported by Donald Trump, things like fear against immigrants, and the idea that the President of the United States should be able to do anything that he wants without oversight or repercussions.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Official White House Photo

This idea has been seen not only in Trump’s political career, but also in his legal woes that have been ongoing since he left office. Trump is currently indicted under 88 different felony counts across four jurisdictions, and in each case, his legal team has tried to have the charges thrown out under the idea of presidential immunity at least once.

Working Behind the Scenes on Political Schemes

All of these attempts have failed, as they have in the past. Trump is not the only president who’s tried to claim that illegal actions are protected under presidential privilege, but it didn’t work for Nixon in the 80’s, and it’s unlikely to work for Trump now. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Oliver F. Atkins

Trump and his political team have been working behind the scenes to ensure his ability to steamroll over the checks and balances of the government, should he get back to the White House after the election this fall. The plan is called Project 2025, and it has a significant number of political experts concerned. 

Project 2025

Project 2025 is a plan that has been headed up by the conservative thinktank, The Heritage Foundation. Essentially, it’s a plan that would allow Trump to walk into the White House in January of 2025 and declare martial law in the United States, as well as declare a state of emergency to allow Trump to use the military to hunt down political opponents.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Alisdare Hickson

The most important part of Project 2025, though, involves the plan to remove career bureaucrats from office who disagree with Trump’s political beliefs, and install far-right Republican loyalists in their stead. The goal is to create an environment where the Republican president – who has been widely assumed to be Trump – can push through legislation and executive demands without the checks and balances that are afforded to the executive branch by the Constitution. 

Opinions on Project 2025

The plan has been called “blatantly fascist” by many independent organizations familiar with the matter. Many have pointed out that Trump wants to install himself as a dictator over the American government, and Project 2025 would offer him a good opportunity to do so. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Dan Scavino

The Biden Administration has already started taking steps to prevent Project 2025 from coming to fruition, though, even if Biden should lose his reelection campaign this fall. A rule change through Human Resources recently made it so that a president can’t fire career bureaucrats for no reason, putting the brakes on a significant part of Project 2025. 

An Important Check on Congressional Power

One important check on the power of Congress as well as the power of the president, though, has nothing to do with the executive office, and everything to do with Senate rules.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/The White House

The filibuster is a measure in the Senate that requires a 60-vote threshold in order to enact any type of legislation. There are a few exceptions to this rule which allow bills to pass with a simple majority, but in general, bills must have bipartisan support to make it out of the Senate to the President’s desk for signing.

Bipartisanship Is King

The filibuster is, generally, a popular rule both with lawmakers and the American public. Bipartisanship is an important quality in politicians, though the last several years haven’t shown that to voters, and the filibuster ensures that both sides of the aisle must work together in order to pass legislation.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Martin Falbisoner

It’s a high bar to reach, particularly in a Congress that is so deeply divided on various ideological issues. Asking Republicans and Democrats to work together the last several years has been like pulling teeth, meaning that many bills that one side or the other have strongly pushed for have been left on the cutting room floor. 

A Highly Important Measure

In spite of this frustrating pattern of bills being left behind, the filibuster is still an important measure. Though there have been some extremists on both sides of the aisle that have called for the Senate to remove the filibuster in order to enact more legislation, this is not a popular idea.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Michael Vadon

Senators on both sides of the aisle have come out firmly in support of the filibuster at various points over the last ten years. But recently, Republicans have been reaffirming the support for the Senate rule, in blatant opposition to former President Donald Trump.

A Collision Course With Trump

This has put Republicans on a potential collision course with Donald Trump, should he be elected back into the White House this fall. During his first term as president, Trump repeatedly clashed with then-Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, who refused to kill the filibuster on more than one occasion. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Drew Angerer

Now that Trump has left office, the support of the filibuster and opposition to Trump has become even more blatant. Even top Trump allies have come together with their more moderate colleagues to hold the line on the filibuster, uniting in the eventuality of McConnell’s absence.

An Easier Path to New Laws

Dismantling the filibuster would make it significantly easier for Trump, or any other president to jam through legislative priorities, such as those regarding the border, taxes, elections, or abortion. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate – Office of Dan Sullivan

While killing the filibuster would make it easier for a conservative president to enact key legislative wins, the same would be true for Democratic leadership as well. Republicans who have stood firmly in support of the filibuster have been clear that they have done so to prevent Democrats from getting that sort of power. Democratic priorities that could be enacted include statehood for Washington D.C. and a federal codification of abortion rights, and these are policies that Republicans stand firmly in opposition to. 

Current Republicans Support the Filibuster

Killing the filibuster is ultimately a moot point. Nearly every member of current GOP leadership, as well as those vying for future spots, is a public defender of the filibuster.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

John Cornyn (R-TX) and John Thune (R-S.D.) have both said that the filibuster is part of the Senate as an institution, while John Barrasso (R-WY), a top Trump ally, has stated that “the filibuster is the character of the United States Senate. I continue to support the filibuster.”

A Check on Presidential Power

It’s obvious that, in at least one way, there will continue to be a check on the power of the executive office, even if Trump wins reelection again this fall. The filibuster isn’t going anywhere, a fact that is for the greater good of America, even if it is frustrating.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Tyler Merbler

This provides an important check on Democrats as well. It’s important for no one person to be able to make legislative decisions for America in the government, and the filibuster is just one of many measures that prevents America from sliding into fascism.