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Heritage Foundation Seeks to Embed Trumpism in U.S. Politics

Kevin D. Roberts, President of the Heritage Foundation, as featured in The New York Times, discussing the foundation's efforts to institutionalize Trumpism in American politics.

The Heritage Foundation, under the leadership of Kevin D. Roberts since 2021, is actively working to embed Trumpism into the fabric of American politics, as detailed in a recent New York Times article. This conservative think tank, influential since the Reagan era, has shifted direction under Roberts, moving away from its hawkish roots and opposing funding for the war in Ukraine, leading to the departure of some of its policy analysts.

Roberts’ vision for the Heritage Foundation is to “institutionalize Trumpism,” which involves leading Project 2025. This initiative aims to consolidate power in the executive branch, dismantle federal agencies, and oversee the recruitment and vetting of government employees. This strategy is designed to empower the next Republican president to overcome systemic challenges that, according to Roberts, hinder conservative power.

A significant shift in the foundation’s stance has been its opposition to aid packages for Ukraine, a move Roberts defends as being in line with the principle of peace through strength. He argues that the lack of transparency and strategy in the aid packages undermines this principle. However, this stance has raised questions about the foundation’s commitment to U.S. interests, particularly in stopping Russian aggression in Europe.

Roberts also discusses the foundation’s interaction with international figures like Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, whose policies have drawn both praise and criticism. The Heritage Foundation’s association with Orban reflects its broader alignment with certain international leaders who embody aspects of conservative policy, despite concerns about democratic backsliding.

The “Safer Kentucky Act,” another focus of Roberts’ tenure, outlines a controversial approach to issues like homelessness, drug possession, and mental illness, with drastic increases in criminal penalties. Critics argue that this approach criminalizes poverty and fails to address underlying social problems effectively.

The New York Times report sheds light on the evolving nature of conservative thought in the United States, highlighting the Heritage Foundation’s pivotal role in shaping and institutionalizing Trumpism as a dominant force in Republican politics.