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And I thought my upcoming novel, Libertyland, was fiction. Enter the alt-Army. True story.

Backers of this alt-Army are actively seeking personnel from the extreme right of American politics, all of whom share a singular vision: To decimate the United States government and reduce it to a mere administrative state designed to take from the poor, give to the rich, and allow billionaires to run amok in their perfect Libertarian paradise.


That’s the fever-dream. In the real world, a rich man’s Libertarian paradise would be monstrous for almost everyone else. Or, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” as philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote in his 1651 masterwork, Leviathan.


You’ve heard of civil servants, the employees who work in the U.S. government as hard-working, no nonsense, even boring, employees. By contrast, the Alt-Army will staff our government with fellow Libertarians, Donald Trump cultists, and anyone with a decent resume who will commit to the decimation of the United States government.


Calling their massive undertaking “Project 2025,” the new Army has a book, a comprehensive guide for what is, in essence, the undoing of the U.S. government and replacing it with a set of administrative rules, procedures, and personnel whose primary mission is to execute a right-wing agenda for the next government of the United States—whom they strongly imply will be ruled by one Donald Trump. Yes, the very same twice-impeached ex-president now facing multiple criminal indictments in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection against the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. (By the way, their book never mentions that sordid piece of history.)


Project 2025 is being overseen by the Heritage Foundation., which is among the richest and most influential of the right-wing agenda setters, whose collective objective is to shape the future of the United States as a neo-conservative, quasi-religious enterprise. Think of Christian Nationalism as the official faith of this new America, supervised by the likes of the new Speaker of the House, that boy wonder, Mike Johnson.

 

Heritage’s recent IRS Form 990 tells the story.


With assets of more than $330 million, according to its latest IRS filing, Heritage reported revenue of more than $140 million—all of it tax exempt. In other words, American taxpayers are subsidizing the Libertarian foundation’s aggressive efforts to eliminate broad swaths of the social safety net and engineer politics and public policy in the favor of its donors—many of whom are themselves foundations launched by the nation’s wealthiest individuals.


The agenda that Heritage reports to the IRS (I.E. American taxpayers): “TO FORMULATE AND PROMOTE CONSERVATIVE PUBLIC POLICIES BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF FREE ENTERPRISE*, LIMITED GOVERNMENT*, INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM,* TRADITIONAL AMERICAN VALUES* AND A STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE*.


I’ve placed the little stars in the text as a reminder that Libertarian ideals are typically riddled with exceptions because, as a philosophy, Libertarianism exists in a theoretical vacuum—some say science fiction-- and not the actual world of real people with real problems. You know, stuff like poverty, lack of health care, and bad or no housing. Dissecting Libertarianism’s inherent flaws is beyond the scope of this piece; but suffice it to say that the world described in Ayn Rand’s novels always reminded me of a story of how a race of aliens invaded the Earth and were astonished to find actual ordinary Earthlings who all weren’t extraordinary geniuses with supernatural powers, like the Aliens, at building staggering amounts of wealth.


Still, with the little people in mind, Heritage calls its book, “an invitation for you the reader—Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, and Ms. Smith—to come to Washington or support those who can. Our goal is to assemble an army of aligned, vetted, trained, and prepared conservatives to go to work on Day One to deconstruct the Administrative State.”


Ah, the administrative state, or what conspiracy nuts on the right like to call the “Deep State.” In fact, civil servants’ only job is to carry out the laws passed by the American people via its representatives in Congress. That’s all. The Civil Service isn’t a state, nor is it deep. The Civil Service is all out in the open. Nothing is secret. That’s how team normal works, despite all manner of desperate attempts to paint a dark conspiratorial picture for conspiracy-minded people who were too busy smoking pot in the parking lot to pass their civics class.


So, what’s Project 2025’s real agenda? In fact, Project 2025 doesn’t really want a deep state to disappear, but instead to make it deeper and murkier. Presently, no political litmus test is required of civil servants. These employees come from all walks of life and their political beliefs are their own.


Indeed, quite contrary to its stated purpose of reforming the civil service, Project 2025 would politicize it. Once the alt-Army is fully staffed, tens of thousands of federal employees, without civil service protections, would all be speaking from the same pre-authorized political agenda. The right-wing one. And the only job protection comes from faithfully executing the dictates of the dictator.


Should an employee in this far-right state say or do something contrary to the regime’s dictates, his or her proverbial head is removed. “You’re fired!” would be the innocent version. But how far would the litmus test go in this Orwellian vision? Jail true freedom-lovers for being disloyal? And what would be disloyal? I can imagine one example: Failing to suborn a Red-shirt mob storming the Capitol so the leader could order the U.S. military to put down the mob and enforce Martial Law, suspending all Constitutional rights, throughout the land.


In this light, of course the alt-Army employs a litmus test for true believers. Click on it and find out if you have the right stuff. The extreme right stuff.

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