Susan Kumpf

Susan Kumpf

To the editor:

As each new report comes to light about Rep. Cawthorn’s concealed weaponry, we should be asking how we can help this young man manage his fears before he makes good on his threats.

The Big Lie of a stolen election has unraveled Cawthorn’s world. “It’s going to lead to one place, and that’s bloodshed. As much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs, there’s nothing I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American.”

Is it GOP talking points or those of Christian nationalists that drive Cawthorn’s fears? Cawthorn was eight years old when Michael Farris and conservative Christian nationalists launched the Generation Joshua or ‘GenJ’ movement to create ‘a new generation of moral leadership’ in government. (Learn more about their mission at www.generationjoshua.org)

You may know Farris from 1) his successful effort to legalize homeschooling in every state or 2) as the founder and president of the evangelical Patrick Henry College – the very same institution that feeds Washington DC its young evangelical staffers and from which Cawthorn dropped out as an academic failure in his first semester.

Cawthorn’s words and actions give us reason to predict a deadly outcome as his fears rise and as opposition to his extreme views increases. Cawthorn’s refusal to hold in-person, in-district town halls might be the only public safety policy we’ll hear from this armed, immature young man who threatens fellow Americans when their facts clash with his lies.

Holding our leaders accountable has fallen out of fashion, but – as Generation Joshua leadership touts – it is actually part of wishing them ultimate good. Their training instructs that we don’t want our leaders to be instruments of injustice or evil and that we should let them know that.

Remember Cawthorn’s December 2020 speech when he said that we should lightly threaten our congressmen to overturn the election and to tell them that Madison Cawthorn and everybody’s coming after them unless they support “election integrity”? His speech was at Turning Point USA, another Christian nationalist organization whose mission is to train and organize high school and college students to ‘promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government.’ (Learn more about their campus activities at www.tpusa.org.)

Generation Joshua offers good advice on recovering from election losses and how to move forward – advice which alas, is the road untraveled by Cawthorn. Instead of tweeting ‘Cry more lib’, it suggests we “build genuine relationships and show sincere care for [our opponents] as people. They’ll never listen to you if you are hateful.” Seems true, right?

In closing, Cawthorn has proved a poor match for turbulent times that require thoughtful, caring action. Expect him to continue the Big Lie and fundraise off out-of-district contributors. Expect more weaponry and more outrageous behavior as a subpoena gets closer for his part in the January 6th insurrection planning. And remember that he’ll dread picking up arms against fellow Americans who disagree with him. He recommends stocking up on ammo.

Susan Kumpf lives in Clyde.

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