The Brief: As Donald Trump makes efforts to deny that he's lost the 2020 election, people are coping via memes about a possible coup d'état.


Coup memes joke about and remark on the possibility that Donald Trump is trying to steal the 2020 election, even after a large majority of results are in and it’s clear that Joe Biden has been elected president. Trump has made unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, filed lawsuits claiming that votes were illegitimate, and repeatedly tweeted misinformation including that he’d “won the election by a lot.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t said that Trump should concede.

Many coup d’état memes note that although it’s not entirely clear if Trump is attempting a coup, the possibility isn’t a comforting one. As Dahlia Lithwick wrote in a Slate article, “It’s either a creeping authoritarian coup, or just a really annoying sequel to a horror movie that seems never to end. We’re either experiencing something really profoundly worrisome, or this is just the coddling of a narcissist who just needs a cozy offramp.”

In classic 2020 fashion, people are taking to Twitter to joke and discuss whether or not this is the end of democracy as we know it.

If “Trump attempts a coup” wasn’t on your 2020 bingo card, were you even paying attention?

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