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Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) is calling for vengeance against Republicans who didn’t support his failed reelection effort, saying on Instagram Thursday afternoon that it’s “time for Dark MAGA to truly take command,” referencing a growing far-right community that endorses former President Donald Trump punishing his political enemies.
The 26-year-old freshman congressman tweeted congratulations to Edwards Tuesday night, saying “It’s time for the NC-11 GOP to rally behind the Republican ticket to defeat the Democrats’ nominee this November,” but his Instagram post Thursday—the first since the loss—struck a far different tone.
Cawthorn posted a list of so-called “patriots” like Trump, Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), but vowed to go on a “mission” to purge the GOP of members he feels are “cowardly and weak.”
He went on to say “it’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to take command.”
The Global Network on Extremism & Technology, the London-based research arm of tech industry-backed Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, describes Dark MAGA as a “post-alt-right online aesthetic movement” that has largely functioned so far through engaging in meme warfare, typically by posting black and red-tinted pictures of Trump and other right-wing figures shooting laser beams out of their eyes.
Dark MAGA images also sometimes feature neo-Nazi and white supremacist iconography, according to the Global Network on Extremism & Technology.
“I am on a mission now to expose those who say and promise one thing yet legislate and work towards another, self-profiteering, globalist goal,” Cawthorn said.
Many top congressional Republicans were fed up with Cawthorn’s behavior leading up to the election and were reportedly glad to see him lose, with North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R) openly pushing for his defeat. In the weeks before the election, Cawthorn was cited for having a gun in his carry-on bag at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, was implicated in an insider trading scheme and had a series of sexually suggestive images that appeared completely at odds with his self-proclaimed conservative Christian lifestyle, among other numerous other scandals. But the final straw for top Republicans may have come in March, when Cawthorn said on a podcast that colleagues in Washington invited him to orgies and did cocaine in front of him. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said GOP leadership lost trust in Cawthorn over the remarks, informing Cawthorn he needed to make life choices to “turn himself around.”
Trump remained a staunch backer of Cawthorn even as other Republicans distanced themselves. The former president said Monday on Truth Social, a Trump-backed social network, that Cawthorn deserved another chance. “Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again,” Trump said.
The ‘Dark MAGA’ movement dreams of a vengeful Trump destroying his enemies, and is using ‘meme warfare’ to amplify its threatening vision, say experts (Insider)
Madison Cawthorn Loses GOP Primary Amid Controversies (Forbes)
A Time Line Of Madison Cawthorn’s Missteps—From Visiting Nazi Retreat To Wild Orgy Claims (Forbes)
‘He’s Lost My Trust’: McCarthy Rebukes Cawthorn Over Allegations Of Orgies And Cocaine Use (Forbes)
Madison Cawthorn Cited For Carrying Gun At Charlotte Airport (Forbes)
Trump Invites Cawthorn To Speak At Rally After Fallout With GOP Leadership Over Orgy Claim (Forbes)