Donald Trump has devoted much of his current presidential campaign to looking back, and arguing unsuccessfully that his 2020 election defeat was due to a corrupt election run by Democrats.
But behind the scenes, he and his team are putting together a real plan for how they would run the White House if they win the next election, determined to avoid some of the mistakes made in the early days of his previous administration.
For those wondering what Mr Trump intends to do if American voters send him back to the White House in 12 months, the former president is laying it all out on his campaign website, plus it is documented by people he has entrusted to work on his second term preparations.
They call the plan Agenda47 – a reference to Mr Trump becoming America’s 47th president if he wins.
He is favourite to win the Republican nomination, which would pit him against Democratic President Joe Biden just one year from now, assuming that Biden runs for a second term.
Eight years ago, when Donald Trump launched his unlikely bid to win the White House race, he did so with a minimal budget, relying on press coverage of his antics, and a ragtag staff of political outsiders and hangers-on.
He had a slogan, Make America Great Again. He had a few keynote policies, like building a border wall on the frontier with Mexico and temporarily banning Muslims from some counties from entering the US. And he had an anti-establishment, drain-the-swamp attitude, claiming that he was going to root out corruption in Washington.
His “Muslim ban” was repeatedly struck down by courts, before finally becoming policy in its diluted form. His pledge to build a border wall was derailed by lawsuits and congressional Democrats, and the part of it in which he claimed that Mexico would pay for the wall went absolutely nowhere.
It was, in the view of those in Mr Trump’s circle, a failure of preparation and a failure of personnel.
Those were mistakes they don’t intend to repeat if they win in 2024.
Moments after Mr Trump had given his inauguration speech on 20th January, 2017, he walked into the Oval Office with Marc Lotter who worked on his transition team.
From the discussions that followed, Mr Lotter quickly realised the administration just wasn’t equipped to deal with “moving the Titanic-sized ship of government”, he tells the BBC.
“Here’s a playbook. Here’s how you get it done. And here, most importantly, are the areas and the places and positions where a liberal bureaucracy is going to try to stop you.”
That playbook has revealed itself over the course of the year.
Some of his pronouncements border on the fantastical. His government will invest in flying cars and build “freedom cities” on empty federal land, where Americans can live and work without burdensome regulations.
Others are controversial, such as his plan to round up the homeless so as to get them off the streets and move them to tent camps outside US cities until their “problems can be identified”. Some lean directly into the culture wars – he wants public school teachers to be required to “embrace patriotic values”.
He also doubles-down on protectionist policies, calling for a “universal baseline tariff” on all imports, which can be raised on countries that engage in “unfair” trade practices.
On immigration, he wants to reinstate the policy of making undocumented migrants stay in Mexico while they apply for asylum. He also calls for an end to automatic citizenship for the children of undocumented migrants born on US soil– a tough proposition that would require a constitional amendment and perhaps produce a new generation of stateless people.
He pledges to cut “hundreds of billions” of dollars in US international aid and end the war in Ukraine in the process. According to media reports, he is contemplating a US withdrawal from NATO or, at the very least, scaling back American involvement with the trans-Atlantic defence pact.
“The greatest threat to Western civilisation today is not Russia,” he says in a March video. “It’s probably, more than anything else, ourselves and some of the horrible, USA-hating people that represent us.”
According to Mr Lotter, the top issue on Mr Trump’s 2024 agenda will be energy – increasing supply to bring down household bills. His website says that he aims to give America the lowest energy prices on earth. His plans include opening up federal lands for drilling for oil and gas, and building nuclear power generators.
In his view, higher energy prices have been a driving force behind the inflation that bedevilled the early years of the Biden presidency.
“Opening up the spigots and sending the signal to the markets and to the energy companies that we are open for business again will actually start to lower energy prices long term.”
These policies represent the culmination of Mr Trump’s efforts to remake the Republican Party in his own image.
The ‘kinder, gentler’ conservatism of George W Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney – the party’s presidential nominees in the four elections prior to Mr Trump’s 2016 victory – has been swept away.
“The party has evolved, there’s no other way to say it,” says Bryan Lanza, a Republican strategist with ties to the Trump campaign. “We’re the party of tariffs now. Who would have predicted that?”
The new Republican Party, Mr Lanza says, blends conservatism with a populism that appeals to working-class voters, including labour workers who have traditional ties to the Democratic Party. Immigration, trade and a less interventionist foreign policy backed by American “strength” are core parts of the agenda now.
Many of Mr Trump’s proposals would require the help of legislation passed by a Congress that, at the moment, is partially controlled, at least in the Senate, by Democrats vehemently opposed to his plans.
There are some, however, that are within his ability as chief executive to enact if he so desires – and if he has the cadre of loyal aides and government workers to do the job. And that’s one piece of the puzzle that Mr Trump has been preparing to address for quite some time.
In October 2020, just before he was voted out of office, Mr Trump issued an executive order creating a new category of civil servant. These “Schedule F” positions were senior policymaking roles that had traditionally been filled by career government bureaucrats.
Under Mr Trump’s order, top civil service experts could now be fired and replaced with Trump loyalists by the president and his senior political staff.
Joe Biden quickly rescinded the order when he took office, but Mr Trump promises that he will put the order back in place as soon as he gets back in office. In his campaign videos, and in public speeches, he is already making extravagent claims about what the change could accomplish.
Sources: BBC, Trump campaign.