Presidential plans / Literary laundry

Screenshot of Donald Trump's mouth, a bit of his navy suit coat and blue tie; there is a tiny flag pin on his lapel and in the background there is a bit of U.S. flag

Today: Gabriel Snyder, Editor and Publisher at The Fine Print; and Rax King, author of essay collections Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer and the forthcoming Sloppy.

Issue No. 107

13 Real, Terrifyingly Specific Trump Campaign Promises
Gabriel Snyder

The Dangerous World of Personal Essays
Rax King

13 Real, Terrifyingly Specific Trump Campaign Promises

by Gabriel Snyder

What would Donald Trump actually do if he actually became president again? It’s been all too easy, especially if you have enjoyed tuning out his bombast since he left the White House, to lose track of his violent lurches from one shock and horror to another. (Are the immigrant cage fights meant to happen before, after, or during the mass deportations?)

Most of his campaigning has been about creating a mood, rather than making concrete pledges, with his most specific-sounding and loudly repeated ones—“Build the Wall!” or “Lock her up!”—piddling out into publicity stunts. In 2020, his reelection campaign had so much difficulty coming up with a platform that they decided in the end to just not

Nevertheless, for the 2024 campaign, Trump has come up with some new and alarming proposals. As The Washington Post’s Philip Bump recently noted, for a while at least, Trump regularly recorded videos for his campaign site called “Agenda 47,” (This is not to be confused with Project 2025, which is a whole different nightmare fashioned by right-wing zealots outside the Trump campaign—perhaps to give him plausible deniability about its calls to demolish the federal government.) 

I went through all the videos—no, good lord, I didn’t watch them; they all offered a helpful transcript to skim. And while most paint the cartoonishly dystopian world of Trump (“the Biden administration have the blood of countless millions on their hands,” etc.), I was struck by the many very specific policies he’s pledged to pursue. Some of these got one-day coverage in political news outlets, but have otherwise appeared only as minor blips in the campaign coverage.

These aren’t mere rally applause lines or unhinged Truth Social posts. The videos outline detailed plans with identifiable targets, and if I were one of them, I would be very worried. From foreign invasions, confiscation of universities, and criminal crusades aimed at political adversaries, Trump’s proposals go way beyond the typical “Trump said something crazy today” rhetoric. 

Here is the world Trump wants to see in 2025.

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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