Messaging Guide: Nothing Legitimate About the January 6 Coup Attempt

folder_openMessage Guide, Research
remembering jan. 6

On February 4, 2022, the Republican National Committee voted to censure two of their party’s Congressional Members. In doing so, they characterized the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol as “legitimate political discourse.”

Calling the RNC out on this mischaracterization is of the utmost importance. January 6, 2021 was a devastating day for many and a sad day for our nation. The critical nature of this comment led even the Republican Senate Minority Leader to disavow the claim. 

It’s time for every Republican in Iowa to do the same, and in the strongest of terms. There should be no room for mischaracterizations of January 6, 2021. A day when insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol and violently attempted to halt the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected President. 

Message Guidance on this issue is from our guide “Remembering January 6, 2021” along with a sample message to tie the research to current events.

Key Research Takeaways

  • A key term that has helped inspire defiance is “sabotage.” For example, when reminded that Trump supporters attempted to sabotage our election system
  • Our concerns are bolstered when we tie current attacks on public officials to the attacks on January 6.

Key Message Guidance  

  • Start with a shared values statement. 
  • Name the problem and define the 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. 
  • End with a call to action.

Sample Message

No matter our color, background or party, Iowans believe that people who attempt to sabotage our democracy and endanger the lives of fellow citizens have no business leading or governing. Shared Value
On Jan. 6, 2021, some republicans turned their backs on America by inciting armed, right-wing militants to attack our capitol to sabotage our election. 
Now, the Republican National Committee is defending the violent riot that put bystanders, staff and legislators in harm’s way and led to the deaths of five United States Capitol police officers. 
There’s nothing legitimate about the January 6 violence. This attack was an attempt to sabotage and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Today, the RNC is attempting to spread misinformation and sabotage the strength of our united voice. 
Name the opposition  & tie to current events 
Legislators who fail to recognize the results of the Presidential election and promote the Big Lie are traitors to truth and transparency, and a threat to our democracy and the peaceful transfer of power. Tie to ongoing threat
Last year, we turned out in record numbers and made sure our votes were counted, and the will of the people prevailed. Outcomes we can achieve
Today, we’ll continue to fight to preserve our democracy and vote out anyone who spreads lies or incites violence in an attempt to sabotage it.  Call to action

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