Right-Wing Think Tank Leader Promises Revolution, Warns of ‘Bloodshed’

Kevin Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation, is talking up revolution and the prospect of “bloodshed” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision placing the president outside the reach of criminal law.

The Heritage Foundation is the once-staid think tank that, since Roberts’ arrival in 2021, has leaned into the culture wars with gusto. The group has organized the infamous Project 2025, mapping out an extremist agenda for a prospective second Trump term.

Roberts spoke Tuesday on the show Real America’s Voice with guest host and former Tea Party congressman Dave Brat, and uncorked comments that made him sound like a member of the Oath Keepers militia.

“Let me speak about the radical left,” Roberts said, insisting it “has taken over our institutions.” He said that the reason progressive are “apoplectic right now” — in the wake of the Supreme Court decision granting the president immunity from criminal prosecution — “is because our side is winning.”

Roberts then declared himself an insurrectionist who is open to violence: “We are in the process of the second American Revolution,” he said, “which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

Roberts comments underscore the threat of authoritarianism that is looming over the 2024 election, and immediately caught the attention of experts on fascist movements. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a history professor at NYU, called out Roberts in a pair of posts on X, describing him as a “fascist” who was “celebrating” the newfound power of the president to “kill people and pay no penalty” while “feeling empowered by the ruling to threaten the American people.” Ben-Ghiat decoded “the left” as applying to “everyone who is not MAGA.”

The NYU professor, whose expertise is in Italian fascism, added that “Heritage does not have an in-house paramilitary” and that by “using ‘we,’ Roberts is suggesting that Heritage is aligned with armed entities that could be activated if there is resistance to their coup.” She called this a “classic intimidation tactic: submit or else.”

The Biden campaign denounced Roberts comments in a statement: “248 years ago tomorrow America declared independence from a tyrannical king, and now Donald Trump and his allies want to make him on at our expense.” The statement described Roberts as “dreaming of a violent revolution to destroy the very idea of America.”

Later in the broadcast, Roberts predicted that his “second revolution” would be complete by 2050, and that would it would coincide with a new “great awakening” that would bring America to God — underscoring the extent to which Heritage and its Project 2025 is entwined with Christian nationalism. Roberts insisted that “God’s law can, in fact, be a huge influence on the civil laws.” And he offered a constrained vision of American liberty: “Our definition of ‘freedom’ is not the freedom to do whatever the heck we want, but the freedom to do what we ought.”

Roberts, who previously ran the Texas Public Policy Foundation, is an ally of Trump megadonor Tim Dunn, who has long served on the board of TPPF. With millions in political donations, Dunn has steered Texas far to the religious right, and, as Rolling Stone has reported, is now pushing the MAGA movement to embrace his vision of a government whose function is to execute God’s “wrath on evil.”

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