Madison Cawthorn Issues Defiant Message After Loss

It's time for 'Dark MAGA' to rise, says outgoing North Carolina congressman
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2022 10:35 AM CDT
Defeated Cawthorn: Time for 'Dark MAGA' to Rise
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-NC, speaks to supporters and the media at his primary election night watch party in Hendersonville, NC, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

The youngest member of Congress—and one of the most controversial—will not be returning after losing his North Carolina primary this week. But in a social media post Thursday, 26-year-old Madison Cawthorn sounded very much like a man who isn't done with politics.

  • 'New right': "The time for genteel politics as usual has come to an end," wrote Cawthorn, per the News & Observer of Raleigh. "It's time for the rise of the new right, it's time for Dark MAGA to truly take command. We have an enemy to defeat, but we will never be able to defeat them until we defeat the cowardly and weak members of our own party. Their days are numbered. We are coming."

  • His patriots: Cawthorn ticked off the names of people he considers "patriots," including former President Trump, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, Steve Bannon, and Sen. Rand Paul, per Fox News. He thanked them for defending him amid a series of scandals that doomed his reelection effort. "When the establishment turned their guns on me, when the Uni-party coalesced to defeat an America First member very few people had my back."
  • Dark MAGA: So what is Dark MAGA? It's essentially a more extreme version of Trump's Make America Great movement, explains Newsweek. It first surfaced on social media in January and has been picking up steam since. "More of a meme than a political slogan, Dark MAGA is a post-alt-right aesthetic that promotes an authoritarian version of Trump in dystopian, Terminator-like images," per the story. "In some, the Trump Tower is painted entirely in black and the former president is seen piercing through the screen with blue laser eyes." A recurring theme is exacting vengeance on political enemies.
  • Dark MAGA II: "A big part of the aesthetic involves memes of a God-like, authoritarian Trump getting revenge on perceived opponents," behavioral scientist Caroline Orr Bueno tells Insider. "It's an aggrieved movement centered around the idea of a vengeful return to power." Supporters embrace the idea of being the villain and ditch "any facade of decency or political correctness." The story notes that Trump himself hasn't endorsed the movement, though Greene, for example, has posted an image in sync with the aesthetic. The hashtag she used was #UltraMAGA.
(Read more Madison Cawthorn stories.)

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