A large part of the progressive left’s complaint about our bodies of the legislature is that they are made up of old white men and some women who are stuck in their ways and not willing to be openminded about our future.
It’s why younger blood, such as New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her 2018 election against Joe Crowley and why her ‘squad’ of similar younger women have seemingly taken over the left.
But as one young man from North Carolina just proved, the left is the only party ready for a group of fresh faces and new ideas.
Enter one Madison Cawthorn.
Cawthorn is 24 years old and just won his first primary. And before you ask, no, he did not run uncontested. In fact, he quite a bit of opposition.
Cawthorn is running to take the recently vacated seat of President Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who is retiring, for North Carolina’s 11th District. But while the district is considered a safe Republican one, his win wasn’t a given.
Firstly, there were 12 Republicans to run against in the March primary, of which he finished in second place. The winner of that primary was Lynda Bennett, who was basically handpicked by Meadows for the position and even enjoys a personal friendship with both Meadows and his wife. Bennett was also endorsed by President Trump.
But Cawthorn won and by nearly two-thirds of the vote.
An impressive win to be sure, especially for someone without a lick of political experience and as young as he is.
So how did he pull off such a win?
He believes it was by no luck of his own. He simply ran on principles that matter to him. According to the New York Times, “he has run as Ms. Bennett’s conservative equal, emphasizing his support for gun rights and his opposition to abortion and ‘socialized medicine.’” He also supports border security and religious freedoms.
But he also so ran using his age and inexperience, claiming he could be the start of a new “generation” of Republicans that were willing and able to stand up to those like AOC of the progressive left.
Now, just to clear things up, Cawthorn will be 25 by the time of the election in November, which means he will actually be eligible. If he wins, he will the youngest ever elected member of Congress.
However, many took his surprising win as a slap in the face to both Meadows and President Trump, assuming that since he ran against someone that Trump endorsed that he was not supportive of the president. He says this is far from true.
As the New York Times reported, Cawthorn said, “I want to make something clear: I support our great president. I do not believe this election has been a referendum on the president’s influence.
The people of western North Carolina are wise and discerning. You observed both candidates and simply made the choice you believed is best for our district.”
And in all honesty, it’s not like Cawthorn doesn’t have connections to Meadows on his own. In fact, Meadows endorsed him in 2014 to attend the United States Naval Academy. But shortly afterward, Cawthorn was in a severe car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
But he won’t let his reliance on a wheelchair stop him from serving our country.
Cawthorn believes in small government and that those in Congress have but one purpose: to serve their constituents, which in part might be why he beat Bennett.
Cawthorn, on several occasions, campaigned on the idea that Bennett’s high-profile endorsements such as Trump and Meadows meant that “she would arrive in Washington already beholden to interests beyond her constituents,” according to The Times.
In comparison, while Cawthorn was most certainly endorsed, all of his benefactors are either retired lawmakers, former district candidates, or current county commissioners and sheriffs. This would imply that his interest lies in the district and its needs only, and not who can get him the most votes.
And it seems his would-be constituents appreciate that. After all, what good is a representative who doesn’t listen to the needs of those who gave him that office?