Message Guide: Remembering Jan. 6, 2021

folder_openMessage Guide, Research
remembering jan. 6

The anniversary of January 6th is an important marker for democracy in America—proof that it is not a guarantee, but also that the majority of Americans are committed to protecting our voting rights and the sanctity of our election laws. 

In addition, the January 6 investigation is heating up in Congress and more information is being shared about what happened that day, who knew and who could have stopped it. 

Please refer to the messaging guidance below to commemorate those who stood to protect democracy on January 6 and frame this issue to ensure supporters of the January 6 attack face the consequences. 

Emotion and repetition are powerful tools to use for every message. They help our allies remember the talking points and stay on message, allowing us to speak as a united front and frame the discussion. 

Key Research Takeaways

  • Message tests show the most activating emotion for January 6 messages come from those that inspire defiance. A key term that has helped inspire defiance is “sabotage.” For example, when reminded that Trump supporters attempted to sabotage our election system
  • Voters get most upset about the fact that GOP U.S. Representatives helped January 6 organizers plan rallies and pressured Republican Senators to object to the election certification.
  • Our concerns are bolstered when we tie current attacks on public officials to the attacks on January 6. 
  • Research shows that Republican favorability can drop significantly (7-9 points) when they are hit with a barrage of information about the January 6 attacks

Key Message Guidance

  • Start with a shared values statement. 
  • Name the problem with those in opposition to our shared value.
    • However, don’t repeat the opposition’s message, even to negate it. Speak proactively to reframe the issue. 
  • Frame the opposition as a “hurdle” we can overcome, rather than a “barrier” that stops us. 
  • Make voters the protagonists and focus on values. 
  • Provide tangible outcomes.
    • Our country has a progressive legacy of expanding the right to vote.
    • We must continue and protect our elections from sabotage to ensure every vote counts. 
  • End with a call to action.
    • Ensure every vote counts.
    • Protect freedom to vote.

Sample Messaging 

Example 1

No matter our color, background or party, most of us believe that people who betray our nation and endanger our lives have no business governing.Shared Value
On January 6, some Republicans in office turned their backs on America by inciting armed right-wing militants to attack our Capitol to sabotage our election.Define the opposition
As growing evidence about the planning of this attack, death threats against elected leaders, and violence against public officials reveal, some Republican lawmakers are continuing to spread deadly lies to keep their base engaged and enraged.Tie to current events/ongoing threat
Last year, we turned out in record numbers, made sure our votes were counted and that the will of the people prevailed. Outcomes we can achieve
To have a government of, by and for the people, where all of our rights are respected and freedoms protected, we must vote out anyone who spreads lies or incites violence in order to claim or hold power.Call to action

Example 2

In Iowa and across America, we value our freedom: the freedom to make a good living, to gather and connect with our families, and to pick the leaders who represent us.Shared value 
Trump’s election was a wake up call for millions of us and together we dealt an effective blow to his dangerous and divisive government by turning out to vote in record numbers in 2018 and 2020. Highlight tangibles, what we can deliver
While it’s tempting to turn away from politics, Trump allies who plunged us into economic free fall, failed to deal with the pandemic while spreading lies about vaccines, and unleashed violence to sabotage our election, are only escalating their efforts to sow chaos, promote division, and distract us from their true aims. They are proving that they will stop at nothing – from taking away our freedom to vote to blocking legislation to inspiring deadly violence – in order to seize power and rule only for the wealthy and powerful. Define the opposition
But just as we faced and defeated them in the last two elections, we will stand up to them again and protect our democracy. Outcomes we can achieve
If we turn out again in 2022 we can elect real leaders who can move America toward the promise of liberty and justice for all, no exceptions.Call to action 
Tags: , , ,

Let’s Build On Progress

With your help we can focus on progressive research, education, and advocacy, to empower our membership of 100,000.

Subscribe to our newsletter to see the latest news and messaging guidance.