This week is Democracy Week, and here at Indivisible AVL we had planned on week-long actions supporting the For the People Act, the comprehensive democracy reform package aimed at cleaning up our political system, expanding and protecting voting rights, and creating a democracy that ensures all Americans can have their voices heard.  The For the People Act was passed by the House as H.R.1 in 2019 and co-sponsored by all Senate Democrats, but of course languished under McConnell’s Senate rule.

As the new Congress convenes, with even more urgent issues and crises than we faced two years ago when the legislation was first introduced, we recognized that restoring the integrity of our nation’s democracy was more important than ever. So we joined in with the Declaration for American Democracy coalition, along with hundreds of other groups all over the country, to call for restoring the integrity of our nation’s democracy, starting with the much-needed reforms in this legislation.

Reintroducing the For the People Act reaffirms Congress’s commitment to restoring transparency and accountability in government. And we saw this as an important first step toward fixing what’s broken in our democracy.

Then Wednesday happened.

Last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol exposed an even deeper fissure in the foundation of our democracy than we had seen before.

For Democracy Week, we had planned on calling on newly elected Congressman Madison Cawthorn, Representative to the U.S. House of Representatives from NC District 11, to support the For The People Act, with a phone blitz on Monday and a Tweet storm on Tuesday. But when Cawthorn’s actions last week show him actively encouraging and supporting insurrection, asking him to support pro-democracy reforms when he is actively attacking democracy seems rather beside the point.

Cawthorn’s Words & Actions Supporting Insurrection

Two days before the attack, newly sworn-in Representative Cawthorn put out the call: “It’s time to fight,” he proclaimed. The full text of this January 4 Tweet reads: “January 6th is fast approaching, the future of this Republic hinges on the actions of a solitary few. Get ready, the fate of a nation rests on our shoulders, yours and mind. Let’s show Washington that our backbones are made of steel and titanium.  It’s time to fight.”

On Tuesday he posted: “The fate of a nation comes down to the events of tomorrow. The New Republican Party will not back down. I look forward to seeing millions of patriotic Americans stand for their country.”  Accompanying this was a professionally designed graphic with his name and photo and the text “SEE YOU AT THE MARCH! Washington, D.C. #STOPTHESTEAL”

Then early on the morning of Wednesday, January 6, Cawthorn tweeted a call for people to join him at Trump’s election protest rally preceding the attack: “Heart of a Lion, soul of a Patriot. The Ellipse, Washington D.C 8:30 am today. It’s on. Be there.” This was followed by a video of him headed to the rally, “about to speak on behalf of Donald Trump” and telling viewers, “I hope you guys will stand with us.”

This was followed by a video of him “Headed to the Ellipse” and asking people to join him at the rally: “Meet us there!”

An hour later he posted a video of him pumping up the crowd at the rally“Wow! This crowd has some fight in it and I am so thankful to each and every single one of you“ — with a note that he was “honored to speak out in defense of the Constitution.”

Unfit to Serve

After last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol, it’s more important than ever that we stand united and speak with one voice for democracy.

It’s also crucial that our elected representatives support basic democratic institutions and norms — at the very least, that they refrain from actively subverting our democracy.

As we celebrate Democracy Week and support democratic reforms, we must also call out attacks on our democracy for what they are.

Last week, Madison Cawthorn showed that he is more than an embarrassment to the citizens of Western North Carolina. He is a clear and present danger to the United States of America.

By voting against certification of a free and fair election, and by justifying that action with thoroughly debunked lies about the election, he has made it clear that he does not intend to represent the people he was elected to serve or the Constitution he swore to uphold.

But even more egregious was his documented incitement and active participation in an act of insurrection. He is unfit to serve in an institution he encouraged others to overthrow. He should resign or be expelled immediately.

The Time to Act Is Now

We will continue to post specific actions calling for Cawthorn’s resignation or expulsion from the House. This week, we urge residents throughout the 11th District to start to make some noise through one or more of these actions.

  1. Write & Call Madison Cawthorn Asking Him to Resign

    • 828-693-5660 – Regional Office (Hendersonville)
    • 202-225-6401 – Washington Office
    • BE SURE TO:
      • State your full name and ZIP code & say you are his constituent
      • State 1-2 reasons why you think he is unfit to represent you and other citizens of WNC (You can call back every day with more!)
      • Conclude by demanding that he resign immediately
  2. Write a Letter to the Editor About His Unfitness to Serve

    • BE SURE TO:
      • Follow the word count guidelines and other instructions carefully
      • Present a clear and logically reasoned argument. Many letter writers find a structure helpful: Main point – Reason #1 – Reason # 2 – Conclusion
      • Sign your full name
  3. Write to Speaker Pelosi Asking the House to Censure or Expel

    • Send an email to Speaker Pelosi letting her know his constituents are appalled at his actions and urge the House take up expulsion or, at minimum, official censure, if he doesn’t resign
    • Use the email form on her website at Speaker.gov/contact
    • Postal letters should be addressed to:
      The Hon. Nancy Pelosi
      Speaker of the House of Representatives
      1236 Longworth H.O.B.
      Washington, DC 20515