Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina was criticized after he claimed the "Founding Fathers wouldn't recognize the America we live in today" adding they would be "horrified, and rightfully so."
You can see his tweet here:
Our Founding Fathers wouldn't recognize the America we live in today. \n\nThey would be horrified, and rightfully so.— Madison Cawthorn (@Madison Cawthorn) 1641058731
Cawthorn appeard to imply the nation's framers would be "horrified" by progressive politics, particularly more inclusive rights for women, minorities, LGBTQ+ people and other marginalized groups.
But people born in the 18th century would not recognize the modern world at all. The nearly 300 years since the United States declared its independence from Great Britain have also seen remarkable, unprecedented technological advancements.
The Founding Fathers would never recognize a world in which regular vaccinations have wiped out many diseases, astronauts have gone to space, animals have been cloned and people have handheld computers they carry around in their pockets.
As many of Cawthorn's critics reminded him, the nation's Framers would indeed be "horrified" by this progress, including the fact a sitting, lame duck President incited an insurrection against Congress to try to retain power after losing both the popular and electoral college votes by large margins.
This is a really long way of saying you wish that women still couldn\u2019t vote and that you could still own Black people.https://twitter.com/CawthornforNC/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid) 1641130239
\u201cwhat do you mean i can\u2019t own people?\u201dhttps://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— Margaret Killjoy \ud83c\udff4 (@Margaret Killjoy \ud83c\udff4) 1641133790
Of course they wouldn't recognize it, nobody from the 1700s would recognize much about the modern world.\n\nBut why would they be horrified? We took the system they designed and turned it into the richest and most powerful country in the world.https://twitter.com/CawthornforNC/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— Noah Smith \ud83d\udc07 (@Noah Smith \ud83d\udc07) 1641089316
People born in the 18th century wouldn\u2019t recognize a country in the 21st century.\n\nTruly some eye-opening insights right here.https://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— Oliver Jia (\u30aa\u30ea\u30d0\u30fc\u30fb\u30b8\u30a2) (@Oliver Jia (\u30aa\u30ea\u30d0\u30fc\u30fb\u30b8\u30a2)) 1641089693
Yes. Among other things, they would wonder why the slaves are wandering around unchained.https://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— Patrick W. Watson (@Patrick W. Watson) 1641090734
I know, right?? Black people aren\u2019t slaves\u2026 women can vote and own property\u2026 indigenous tribes still exist\u2026 plus all the immigrants and the Black lady VP\u2026 They\u2019d surely be shocked and presumably appalled. Not to mention you guys\u2019 whole MAGA cult insurrection and the Internet.https://twitter.com/CawthornforNC/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid \ud83d\ude37 (@Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid \ud83d\ude37) 1641120009
I think they would be concerned, but certainly proud that the institutions held against people like you.https://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— Adam Kinzinger (@Adam Kinzinger) 1641085123
I know: electricity, cars, plumbing. Can you imagine the founding fathers logging in to a social network??? They didn\u2019t even have their own teeth!https://twitter.com/CawthornforNC/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— Akilah Hughes (@Akilah Hughes) 1641081524
Yes. They warned us about people like youhttps://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1477333513577840642\u00a0\u2026— David Pepper (@David Pepper) 1641083781
Cawthorn has repeatedly made attempts to appeal to the Christian fundamentalist base that comprises a significant chunk of today's Republican Party.
For instance, Cawthorn has long been criticized by the LGBTQ+ community for his opposition to the Equality Act, which would, among other things, add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights legislation.
Although the bill ultimately passed through the House of Representatives (and has yet to be taken up by the Senate), Cawthorn later said he voted against the bill because it would restrict the rights of parents in regard to healthcare for their transgender children, something which was not in the bill.
He was recently mocked after he claimed his preferred pronouns are "MA/GA."
Cawthorn's tweet was a reference to "Make America Great Again"—former President Donald Trump's controversial campaign slogan with roots in the White supremacist movement of the Ku Klux Klan.