Madison Cawthorn calls for takeover of Dark MAGA after election defeat

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.) is calling for a “Dark MAGA” takeover after losing his feature race Wednesday to state Sen. Chuck Edwards (RN.C.).

In a post on Instagram, Cawthorn, whose loss came after a series of compromising videos were leaked, shared a photo of the people he says have come to his defense amid the controversy.

“When the establishment turned its guns on me, when the varsity party banded together to defeat a member of America First, very few people had my back,” he wrote. “This list contains the lion’s share of the numbers that came to my defense when it wasn’t politically profitable.”

Cawthorn’s list includes everyone from right-wing commentators like Tucker Carlson and “The Great Charlie Kirk” to other political figures like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former President Donald Trump.

But it wasn’t the list that drew much attention. Instead, Cawthorn’s mention of a “Dark MAGA” ultimately sparked widespread interest on social media.

“The time of gentile politics as usual is over,” he continued. “It’s time for the rest of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to really take command.”

As noted by news week Last month, Dark MAGA referred to a fringe group of Trump’s most ardent supporters who want “a ruthless, unforgiving version of Trump to exact revenge on his political enemies in the 2024 election.”

Though Trump has yet to announce a presidential bid or support for the Dark MAGA movement, memes and other images are becoming increasingly popular online.

“More of a meme than a political slogan, Dark MAGA is a post-alt-right aesthetic that promotes an authoritarian version of Trump in dystopian, Terminator-like imagery.” news week reported. “In some, Trump Tower is painted completely black and the former president is seen through the screen with blue laser eyes.”

Cawthorn’s reference to the meme led to the term trending on Twitter on Thursday.

But not everyone agrees with the term. NBC News journalist Ben Collins argued that Dark MAGA was merely an attempt to rename the far right’s most authoritarian voices.

“Reporters should not accept the branding on Dark MAGA. There are many words for a revanchist policy based on lawsuits and lies,” Collins wrote. “It’s accelerator violence, fascism, authoritarianism. Don’t clean it up with cute Batman movie words — even if they call themselves villains.”

Critics of the term can also be found on the far right itself. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (IST) wrote this week that some members of 4chan believe Dark MAGA is an “operation” or a government-led operation.

“[T]They believe the goal of Dark MAGA is to associate the broader pro-Trump movement with neo-Nazism, thereby portraying it as dangerous and in need of a fight,” the IST wrote.

Many memes used by people associated with Dark MAGA have made clear references to Nazi symbols and former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. ISD goes on to argue that the goal of some Dark MAGA is to “gain attention, unite the right and introduce more mainstream Trump-supporting conservatives to much more extreme narratives and ideas.”

With Trump’s political future still open, Dark MAGA’s future remains uncertain for now. However, with increasing politicization across the country, it is likely that more extreme political elements will continue to increase.

Read more about the Daily Dot’s technical and political coverage

*Initial publication: May 19, 2022 5:04 pm CDT

Michael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a Seattle-based tech and security reporter covering social media, data breaches, hackers and more.

Michael Thalen

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/madison-cawthorn-instagram-dark-maga/ Madison Cawthorn calls for takeover of Dark MAGA after election defeat

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