Editor’s note: Article contains profanity and language that may be offensive to some.
GOP candidate Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old political wunderkind currently seeking to fill the opening left by Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in North Carolina‘s 11th District, has been getting plenty of on-the-job training in how to run a successful campaign.
The one-time underdog, who bested an establishment favorite in the Republican primary, now has a bigger trial-by-fire challenge against his 62-year-old Democrat adversary, Morris Davis.
As Davis’s fellow Twitter users might say, the crusty candidate has “no chill” when it comes to his social-media attacks.
Not only has the yellow-dog, deep-state Democrat unrelentingly attacked his young opponent—who happens to be wheelchair-bound following an accident at 18 that left him paralyzed—Davis has even gloated over the fact that he embraces the low road, according to the North State Journal.
On Sept. 11 last year, a day of remembrance that many would use to reflect upon the shared national tragedy and time of solidarity, Davis instead tweeted:
“Screw they go low, we go high bullsh*t. When NC GOP extremists go low, we stomp their scrawny pasty necks with our heels and once you hear the sound of a crisp snap you grind your heel hard and twist it slowly side to side for good measure. He needs to know who whupped his ass.”
The vicious tweets seem almost to caricature the deranged, swamp-dwelling figures who sense an “existential” threat to their political survival while facing the populist Trump movement on the Right and growing radicalism on the Left—both of which have the bureaucratic Establishment in their cross-hairs.
But after expressing his past support for extreme violence and incivility, Davis is now facing calls from his young GOP rival’s campaign to grow up.
“Moe Davis’ perverse and graphic call for violence against his political opponents isn’t just an assault against Republicans but our republic,” said Cawthorn’s campaign spokesman John Hart.
“The ability to resolve our differences peacefully isn’t an aspect of our system of government, but its foundation,” Hart continued. “Thousands of Americans have served and died defending that right, which Davis ridicules.”
After the year-old comment resurfaced Wedensday, state Republican officials also condemned it.
“Moe Davis’ tweets demonstrate that he is unfit for office. He should drop out now and apologize for his threats,” said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley. “
“The DCCC, Cal Cunningham, Roy Cooper, Josh Stein, and all of Moe Davis’s liberal allies should disavow his hateful threats and racist comments,” Whatley continued.
One might expect Davis—a retired Air Force colonel who spent time during the Obama administration as chief prosecutor of the Guantanamo military commissions—to proceed with valor and dignity befitting his years of service.
However, amid a scandal about the prison-base’s ongoing use of torture tactics like waterboarding, Davis resigned from his Guantanamo position in an apparent episode of insubordination and was denied a medal for his efforts.
That bitterness still lingers in his contempt for civilian values that run counter to his smug, drill-sergeant demeanor.
Davis’s pattern of controversial Twitter comments became the subject of discussion last Friday, when the two candidates conducted a socially-distanced forum live-streamed via Facebook.
Podcaster and blogger Pete Kaliner confronted Davis about the tone of his remarks, providing a lengthy compendium of the more outrageous tweets.
After Kaliner posted the links and the full text of his question on the platform Patron, a commenter, Brian S. McCall, posted an even lengthier list of Davis’s archived attacks.
For example, three days before Cawthorn stood—literally—before a national audience at the Republican convention in a stirring and patriotic call to service, Davis posted this screed about his opponent:
My 25 year old homeschooled, college-dropout, lying, white nationalist friendly, misogynistic, sexual aggressive, multimillionaire (with no job) opponent with policy views that would make George Wallace proud has the full weight of the Republican Party behind him.
Must be nice. https://t.co/wsVwbnrzoB
— Moe Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) August 23, 2020
Given his own hate-filled online footprint, it is ironic that Davis reserves much of the unfiltered bile on his social media for criticizing President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Davis even referred to teenage Trump supporters as “Magats”—a play on the president’s “MAGA” slogan and the word “maggots.”
— Moe Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) January 19, 2019
That may, to some, bear an eerie similarity to the demagoguery of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who was widely criticized for likening Jewish people to termites.
But nods to a radical, militant anti-Semite like Farrakhan are not the only time Davis has attacked religious values. His disdain for Christianity seems even more brutal.
In an October 2019 tweet slamming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Davis linked Pompeo’s Christian faith to an obscene term used by the pornographic film industry, followed by a barrage of insults and personal attacks, capped off with a blasphemous mockery of Christ’s divine infallibility.
“If you think you’ve been called by Christ while you’re serving as the lead fluffer for the profane, serial adultering, immoral, habitual lying, narcissistic, draft-dodging, grifter @realDonaldTrump then it’s obvious Jesus butt-dialed you by mistake.”
A “fluffer” is used in porn to ensure that the lead male actor is kept in a state of readiness between takes.
And despite Davis’s baseless accusation that Cawthorn uses “white supremacist” dog-whistles—a claim that has been debunked by the Anti-Defamation League—Davis also seems to take no issue with embracing his party’s longtime racist legacy.
Even as many Democrats, including Joe Biden, were condemning the racist yearbook photo that last year threatened to scandalously derail Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Davis was one of the first to rush to his defense.
If @RalphNortham isn’t qualified to be @TheDemocrats then neither am I. I’d like to think we both grew from serving in the military, changed our perspectives, and lived better lives afterwards, but if stupidity 35 years ago is disqualifying to be a Dem then count me out, too.
— Moe Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) February 2, 2019
It is unclear whether Davis’s own past instances of racism have been fully acknowledged or just vaguely alluded to, but either way the candidate seems to lack any sort of contrition for his actions while smearing Cawthorn with false accusations of harboring hate.
As cantankerous as Davis may seem, Cawthon’s campaign spokesman, John Hart, said the duplicitous double-standard showed that the level of vitriol he displayed was, in fact, a systemic problem within the party.
“The DCCC’s willingness to tolerate this rhetoric because the candidate has a ‘D’ next to his name illustrates what Madison Cawthorn warned against during his convention speech—a digital dark ages, a time of tribalism without truth,” Hart said.