Is Trump Plotting a Coup? Ha Ha! Don’t Take the Bait

Let’s shine a light on what’s actually happening: Trump could not keep us from voting and he could not keep us from counting. And he’s not going to stop us from swearing in our new president.

Text provided by Democracy Rising.

Trump is tweeting a tantrum and some Republicans are indulging his cries because they fear his wrath and need his fan base for their own campaigns and goals. But every legal challenge Trump has attempted has failed, 12 losses in a row, because there are no facts to back up his claims.

Republican leaders are openly declaring that sowing discord is part of a plan to raise money. Even as Trump’s Attorney General attempts to do his bidding, he cannot get his people to take the bait; the person charged with looking into election issues, Richard Pilger, quit.

The total vote (5 million!) and electoral college (306!) margins are simply too large for Trump to overcome. He would need to somehow overturn the results in three states to change the outcome. Trump is flailing and failing, and the will of the people is prevailing.

We have won the narrative this far by not taking the bait. And we continue to win the narrative by portraying the election as clear, decisive, and done, and shifting our focus toward the future.

At the same time, we understand that many of you still need to know what to say in response to Trump and his allies’ antidemocratic maneuvers. As ever, we are best served leading with, amplifying, and relentlessly repeating our story. And thus we must spend as little of our precious airtime as possible engaging with our opposition’s spurious claims. Nevertheless, we are aware that these are live – and unrelenting – questions. And so we have put together these talking points about the transition of power in the face of GOP contestation.

[fusion_video video=”″ video_webm=”” width=”250px” controls=”” preload=”” loop=”yes” autoplay=”yes” mute=”yes” preview_image=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” css_id=”” overlay_color=”” border_radius_top_left=”” border_radius_top_right=”” border_radius_bottom_right=”” border_radius_bottom_left=”” box_shadow=”no” box_shadow_vertical=”” box_shadow_horizontal=”” box_shadow_blur=”0″ box_shadow_spread=”0″ box_shadow_color=”” alignment=”right” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=””][/fusion_video]Voters did the job and turned out in record numbers.

Again, we have won the narrative thus far by not taking the bait.

Please also refer to our social media toolkit, updated regularly, for sample posts and visual content to spread these effective messages.

Best Practices 

  • DO NOT REPEAT accusations, even to (e.g. do not say “there is no evidence of fraud”)
  • EMPHASIZE that the voters decided
  • ANCHOR our remarks in our shared values: democracy, freedom, fairness
  • REMIND audiences about the history and legacy of the democratic transfer of power
  • PIVOT to the clear, decisive will of the people
  • FRAME as posturing by Trump and allies because he lost and in order to raise money
  • SHIFT attention to the desirable future and our governing agenda 

The basis of our democracy is that we pick our leaders – our leaders do not pick their voters. The United States has always held elections and conducted a democratic transfer of power. We have upheld the will of the people in presidential elections through the Civil War, Great Depression,  previous pandemics, and both World Wars.

Whatever the outcome, we have always accepted the results and passed the baton from one leader to another. Americans across race and background, gender and zip code, turned out in record numbers, and our election officials have counted and verified these votes applying the laws, customs, and safeguards used in every election.

Now that it’s clear that we the people have elected Joe Biden, Trump and his Republican allies have been trying to sow doubts about the outcome of the election through baseless claims and investigations. In America, the voters alone decide who will represent us and govern in our name. It’s time we ensure the will of the people prevails, acknowledge Joe Biden as our President-elect, and transition to new leadership so we can move forward together to ensure we can make ends meet, tackle this pandemic, and care for our families.

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