Before I begin, I feel the need to warn you that this won’t be a happy column. It will be angry. It will be horrified. There are some truly awful things that will be written about.
Let’s establish some things we can agree upon. People deserve the right to live their life freely. People deserve to live their lives safely. People deserve bodily autonomy. People deserve to have their basic needs met.
I’m talking about The Mandate for Leadership: A Conservative Promise, or “Project 2025”. This project was headed up by The Heritage Foundation but was supported by 53 other conservative groups.
This 920-page playbook for turning America into a Christian theocracy was horrifying. I’ll be honest, it’s 920 pages, I haven’t read the whole thing. But, I’m working my way through and if I haven’t read a section thoroughly, then I’ve skimmed or researched it.
Let’s talk about two of their promises.
1. Restore the family as the centerpiece of American life and protect our children.
First, what’s the definition of family? Because family can mean a lot of things. It can be the people you were born to. But what if they’re abusive? Should they still be the center of your life? It can be the people you grew up around. It can be the friends you live with now. As much as it would horrify these people, it can even be same-sex couples. It can be single parents. There is no one way for a family to look.
But, they want to reverse the right of same-sex couples to get married and return to the “nuclear family”. You mean the idea of a family that became prevalent post World War 2? That a good chunk of people didn’t grow up in? That, realistically, isn’t feasible anymore? Homes are expensive, children even more so.
Protect the children. Listen, hearing this as a reason to attack people gets really old, really quick. And, if they actually wanted to protect kids, they’d advocate for better sex-education, better mental health resources, better access to basic needs for low-income families, the list goes on. But they’re not. They want less sex-education, to reform SNAP. Please, tell me how that’s protecting children. Explain to me how regulating transgender people into the closet is protecting kids because, like it or not, trans children exist.
2. Secure our God-given individual rights to live freely–what our Constitution calls “the Blessings of Liberty.”
So they get the right to live freely while anyone who’s different doesn’t? Good to know. I’m not pulling this out of thin air – they want to revoke same-sex couples’ hard won right to get married. They want to stop transgender individuals from having access to affirming and life-saving care. They want to take away the ability for women to receive abortions. So, they want to take a woman’s bodily autonomy away because she’s carrying a child, never mind that said child might kill her, or she didn’t want it.
Most abortions take place long before that clump of cells becomes human or life sustaining. And if they don’t, it’s not for no reason. Usually, that reason is saving the mother’s life. They also claim that the word abortion is depriving “Americans of their First Amendment rights.” I kid you not.
The next conservative President must make the institutions of American civil society hard targets for woke culture warriors. This starts with deleting the terms sexual orientation and gender identity (“SOGI”), diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”), gender, gender equality, gender equity, gender awareness, gender-sensitive, abortion, reproductive health, reproductive rights, and any other term used to deprive Americans of their First Amendment rights out of every federal rule, agency regulation, contract, grant, regulation, and piece of legislation that exists. (4-5)
They then go on to compare being trans to pornography and claim that trans individuals are sexualizing children, calling them child predators and misogynistic. They also claim that minors are able to undergo sex reassignment surgery, which is so blatantly untrue that a simple Google search can disprove it. The most a minor in a supportive home can do is take hormone blockers and socially transition.
These are just a few of the things mentioned. Just a few ways these people are claiming to fight the “woke agenda,” which consists of, let me check, caring about other people, even those who are different. Wow, so terrible that I want everyone to be safe and live their lives. Because that is so much worse than taking away people’s rights because I don’t like how they’re living their lives. Lives that don’t affect me.
I invite everyone to research this, to read it. To be aware of what people are trying to do, and to do something about it. This matters. These people are planning to take away rights and protections because they don’t like them. Frankly, these people need to grow up and realize that not everyone is like them and stop trying to ruin lives because people are different.
Lynn Spahr is a Hutchinson Sophomore studying journalism and the Opinion Page Editor.