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Decryption | The Strange Fate of Madison Cawthorn

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(New York) Long before calling the president of Ukraine a “thug”, repeating the “big lie” about the 2020 presidential election or advocating the use of firearms for political purposes, Madison Cawthorn s was elected to the House of Representatives, at age 25, by telling stories to soften the toughest souls.

On April 3, 2014, when he was just 18, he was in the passenger seat of a car that crashed head-on into a concrete wall. During an election speech, he accused the driver, a childhood friend, of having let him “die” on the spot. He obviously survived, but the accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Before this accident that changed the trajectory of his life, Madison Cawthorn was the owner of a successful real estate company and had been accepted into the prestigious Naval Academy in Annapolis, according to the autobiographical account he served to voters in the constituency. of North Carolina, where he ran for the vote in 2020.

But his determination to overcome hardships has never abandoned him, according to his television commercials. Some of them showed him lifting weights or competing in wheelchair races. In 2019, he announced on social media that he was preparing for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The truth ? His friend and his own parents denied that he was left in the wrecked car. His real estate company, founded in 2019, has declared no income to the tax authorities. His application to the Naval Academy was rejected even before his accident. And his participation in the Paralympic Games was all the more doubtful as he was never close to qualifying.

The truth ? Madison Cawthorn attended evangelical college for a year before dropping out. During his election campaign, several former students accused him of sexual harassment. He denied everything.

“Valdimir Putin, blabla”

“Keep crying, liberals,” tweeted the newest youngest in Congress on the night of his election, November 3, 2020.

Madison Cawthorn is not the only elected representative in the United States to fuel provocation. Within his party, the representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, among others, compete with him excessively. Among the Democrats, Representatives Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, also make remarks that have the gift of scandalizing their political opponents.

But there may be limits to what a Republican representative can say without suffering electoral consequences. One thing is certain, Madison Cawthorn will test these limits during her re-election campaign.

Before becoming the Republican candidate in his constituency for the midterm elections, he will first have to win a primary. And his adversaries will not fail to exploit his statements on Ukraine.

Last December, Madison Cawthorn first expressed widespread indifference within the American nationalist right to the situation in Ukraine, whose borders were then threatened by the Russian army.

” I do not care. I really don’t care,” he told a rally of young conservatives, mocking those who were worried about “this terrible border crisis in Ukraine and Russia, Vladimir Putin, blabla”.

Two weeks ago, he went much further in front of a group of North Carolina voters. ” Remember that [le président ukrainien Volodymyr] Zelensky is a thug, he said. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt, it is incredibly bad and it has been promoting woke ideologies. »

The video of Madison Cawthorn’s statement soon played on repeat on Russian state television. The representative explained his exit by arguing that pro-Ukraine “propaganda” could drag the United States “into another war.”

A brief marriage

“Let’s be clear: Vladimir Putin is the thug,” tweeted North Carolina State Senator Chuck Edwards, one of Madison Cawthorn’s Republican opponents. “We must come together as a nation to pray for President Zelensky and the brave people of Ukraine who are fighting for their lives and their freedom. »

In the conservative riding where this election battle is taking place, Madison Cawthorn’s stance on Ukraine arguably poses greater danger to him than his controversial statements on the 2020 presidential election or the Second Amendment.


PHOTO J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

Madison Cawthorn at the Washington Capitol in April 2021

But the opponents of the young representative will also be able to attack him on his attendance at work. Of the 435 elected to the House of Representatives, “416 have done better than him in terms of attendance and votes during the current session,” tweeted one of his rivals.

In May 2021, the Axios site revealed that Madison Cawthorn had missed 16.2% of the votes in the House. Only five other elected House or Senate officials had a worse record than him in this regard. At the time, the person concerned had attributed his absences to the account of his marriage and his honeymoon.

Madison Cawthorn married on April 3, 2021 with Cristina Bayardelle, a follower of CrossFit. On December 23, 2021, he announced that he and his wife had started divorce proceedings. A few months earlier, he had said that he had met Mr.me Bayardelle in Miami through “Todd”, a captain in the American army whom he had met in a casino in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

That was all it took for left-wing conspiracy theorists to see Bayardelle as a femme fatale in the Russian intelligence service.

Madison Cawthorn made fun of these conspirators. But his fate remains strange.



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