Someone needs to tell Madison Cawthorn to put the shovel down.
But the 25-year-old congressman from Hendersonville seems intent to keep digging, and his developing reputation for not knowing what he’s talking about is making this region look bad, especially considering the vote total he garnered.
Cawthorn initially made national headlines following his second primary victory, as big-city pundits marveled at his win over a candidate backed by big money and endorsed by Mark Meadows and even President Trump himself.
But as time has gone on and those big outlets get into the issues, Cawthorn’s lack of knowledge and propensity for stretching the truth is getting exposed to the entire country. At no time has this been more evident than during a Saturday night interview with CNN’s Pamela Brown.
Some background: on Dec. 31 of last year, Cawthorn posted a video in which he said “voter fraud is common,” before “thousands” of examples scrolled quickly across the screen.
“The sanctity of your vote has been violated,” he said in the video, which was also shared by Donald Trump.
Throughout the CNN interview, Brown asked Cawthorn to explain why he was one of 147 Republicans who voted to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. She asked him to share specific examples of election fraud that informed his “audacious decision, even after the riots to decertify the results.”
“You must have seen some concrete evidence,” Brown said.
Cawthorn said in Wisconsin there was a local official who OK’d the installation of ballot drop boxes against the state legislature’s wishes.
After some back and forth over litigation from the Trump campaign that was shot down, even by a Trump-appointed judge in Wisconsin, Brown asked him point-blank if there was any evidence of voter fraud anywhere.
“Just tell us, what are the specific examples you saw?” she asked, to which he replied he hadn’t seen any.
“Yes, I would say that the election was not fraudulent,” Cawthorn admitted on national television.
After so much talk and publicity, he had nothing?
Minutes before that, Brown pointed out that Cawthorn is focusing on closely-contested states where Biden won that changed their regulations, mostly regarding mail-in absentee voting, to accommodate voters during a pandemic.
“Would you apply the same issues you had with these battleground states to your own state of North Carolina, because North Carolina also changed a lot of the rules, even after voters had started voting?” Brown asked.
“I am not aware of the laws that were changed in North Carolina,” Cawthorn replied.
Really? It’s hard to believe our congressman was unaware of his home state’s widely reported election changes made to accommodate the pandemic. Instead, he was focused on similar changes thousands of miles away?
It is not too much to expect a Congressman to gather the facts before initiating a debate on an issue in front of a national audience.
For now, Cawthorn needs to do his research, listen to those with experience and avoid the draw of the national spotlight until he’s ready.
In the meantime, he needs to think before he speaks. Perhaps he should ponder Proverbs 17:28, which says “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is an esteemed man of understanding.”
Or, to use another well-known adage, it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.