"The best way to beat a wannabe strongman is to reveal his weaknesses"
"Trump is running for president for himself, not the public. His campaign is a desperate ploy to avoid facing the consequences of his many illegal actions.
Donald Trump is not a strong person. He is a coward incapable of winning elections or advancing his extremist popular agenda without resorting to illegal, anti-democratic methods. Like any bully, Donald Trump pretends to be a dictator to hide his own weaknesses. He can’t win an election fair and square and is afraid to even try.
Trump pretends to be strong, but he is too weak and insecure to be President. He talks a tough game, but Trump has never stood up to anyone in his life. He bows down to dictators, gets his marching orders from CEOs, and hides in his bunker when things get tough. Trump is a clown who simply isn’t up to the job of President." - Dan Pfeiffer in Message Box
Messaging matters. Practice this framing with this free teleprompter. Keep the script handy on your phone and share it freely with others with this link. Scan this QR Code to launch the script scrolling in the Big Stage Teleprompter on your phone. Adjust the font size and speed as needed.
Don't amplify Trump's message
Every time we talk about how he is a dangerous dictator who will never leave office, we are amplifying Trump’s message. Talk about Trump’s wannabe strongman agenda without making him seem strong. When talking about Trump’s authoritarian plans, frame them as coming from weakness, not strength.
Connect the Message to People’s Lives
Polls show that voters care more about the economy and Trump’s pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act than how he would destroy democracy. The specific ways Trump would weaponize the government to punish his enemies and benefit himself and his rich, politically connected friends are esoteric and disconnected from the everyday concerns of voters under financial pressure. - Dan Pfeiffer
Listen to the one minute audio version of this framing.
Government cannot function with a criminal as its head
"A second Trump term would instantly plunge the country into a constitutional crisis more terrible than anything seen since the Civil War. Even in the turmoil of the 1960s, even during the Great Depression, the country had a functional government with the president as its head. But the government cannot function with an indicted or convicted criminal as its head. The president would be an outlaw, or on his way to becoming an outlaw. For his own survival, he would have to destroy the rule of law." - David Frum in The Atlantic about the dangers of another Trump stint in the White House.
TakeAway: Learn how to explain how Trump's wish to be a dictator comes from weakness not strength, and what that means for working Americans. Real men play by the rules.
This script and audio version is based on Dan Pfeiffer's advice in Message Box. Read his article "How to talk about Trump's Dictator Remark You defeat a strongman by revealing their weakness".
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