Heritage Foundation Head Refers to ‘Second American Revolution’

The president of the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank that has developed a prominent series of policy plans to overhaul the federal government under a Republican president, said on Tuesday that the country was “in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

The group’s president, Kevin D. Roberts, made the comments in an interview on “The War Room,” the Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s show on the network Real America’s Voice. (Mr. Bannon himself did not host the show on Tuesday, because he reported to prison the day before to serve a sentence for contempt of Congress.)

Mr. Roberts was discussing the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday that presidents have substantial immunity from prosecution for what they do in office, a ruling that upended the criminal case against former President Donald J. Trump for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election and that removes a potential barrier to the most radical elements of his second-term agenda if he is elected again.

“We ought to be really encouraged by what happened yesterday, and in spite of all of the injustice — which of course friends and audience of this show, of our friend Steve, know — we are going to prevail,” Mr. Roberts said, alluding to Mr. Bannon’s imprisonment.

He went on to say that “the radical left” was “apoplectic” because “our side is winning” and said, “And so I come full circle in this response and just want to encourage you with some substance that we are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

“Right on. Thank you, brother,” the interviewer, former Representative Dave Brat of Virginia, replied.

The Heritage Foundation did not immediately respond Wednesday morning to a request for comment about Mr. Roberts’s remarks, which were publicized by the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America.

James Singer, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said in a statement that noted the coming July 4 holiday: “America declared independence from a tyrannical king, and now Donald Trump and his allies want to make him one at our expense. On Jan. 6, they proudly stormed our Capitol to overturn an election Donald Trump lost fair and square — something not even the Confederacy was able to accomplish — now they are dreaming of a violent revolution to destroy the very idea of America.”

Allies of Mr. Trump, and Mr. Trump himself, have long used extreme rhetoric and suggestions of violence against his political opponents and against the left in general. Actual violence has occurred on multiple occasions, most notably during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, and in the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. And the rhetoric has escalated during the 2024 campaign.

Among many other comments, Mr. Trump has said that shoplifters should be shot; implied that the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be executed for treason; urged his supporters to “go after” the New York attorney general, whose office filed a lawsuit against him for fraud; suggested that his supporters might commit violence if the Supreme Court ruled against him; and refused to rule out political violence if he were to lose in November.

Mr. Trump has also repeatedly dehumanized political opponents and immigrants, using terms like “vermin” and “poisoning the blood of our country” that echo Hitler and other authoritarian leaders. And this past weekend, he reposted an image on social media declaring that former Representative Liz Cheney, a prominent Republican critic of his, should be subjected to “televised military tribunals” for treason.

The policy plan that the Heritage Foundation has helped coordinate with similarly aligned groups is called Project 2025. It is not Mr. Trump’s official platform; his campaign instead points to Agenda47, which focuses on curtailing immigration and encouraging economic growth. Some of the authors of Project 2025 served in Mr. Trump’s first administration or are seen as candidates for positions if he wins another term.

Mr. Trump’s campaign has emphasized that Heritage is an outside group and that proposals Mr. Trump has not personally endorsed should not be taken as statements of his plans, though in some areas there is significant overlap between what Heritage has proposed and what he has proposed — including plans to centralize power in the executive branch and eliminate legal constraints and personnel from his first term.

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