Congressman’s claim that he trained for the Paralympic Games shown to be misleading at best
The list of disturbing reports about freshman North Carolina congressman, Madison Cawthorn — both with respect to his behavior since winning election last November and the truthfulness of the public statements he’s made over time about his background — continues to multiply.
For the latest, check out reporter Sara Luterman’s story from earlier today in The Nation entitled “The Ignominious Deceits of Congressman Cawthorn.” As Luterman reports in great detail, Cawthorn — whose repeated outrageous actions have already spurred tens of thousands of people to sign a petition demanding his resignation — has been caught in another whopper about his background. This is from the story:
Throughout his short but meteoric political career, Cawthorn has used his disability to tell a story of overcoming: Despite great adversity, he claims to have achieved excellence through grit and physical strength. Many of his campaign ads featured images of Cawthorn intubated and hospitalized alongside videos of him lifting weights and hurtling forward in a racing wheelchair. But his claims of sporting success—like his accounts of education and business acumen—have often been misleading.
Not only has Cawthorn mislead people into believing that he was a successful business owner headed for enrollment at the U.S. Naval Academy at the time of the car accident that caused him to become partially paralyzed (neither statement was true), he has also falsely indicated that he was training for the 2020 Paralympic Games before he ran for office.
As Luterman’s story details, Cawthorn has not participated in any of the kind of elite paralympian training or events that would have allowed him to genuinely be in the position to be “training” for the Paralympics. As she notes, Cawthorn’s claim that he was doing so could only be true in the same sense that she or any average person who likes to engage in an activity that happens to be an Olympic sport could claim that they are in “training” for the Olympics.
Through a series of interviews with genuine paralympians — none of whom had ever seen Cawthorn anywhere near that relatively small community of elite athletes — Luterman demonstrates that Cawthorn’s claim is — like so much of what he says — B.S. Here’s the conclusion to the story:
Multiple athletes expressed frustration, not just with Cawthorn but with the general ignorance of disability and athletics. If Cawthorn had claimed to be preparing for the 400 meters in the Summer Olympics, the press would have ridiculed him, but no one in media questioned his claims of training for the Paralympics. “There is such a lack of awareness about the Paralympic Movement,” Siemann said. “[People] don’t understand the time and effort and energy that Paralympic athletes put in their training. It’s an elite sport. You can’t just get in a racing chair. That’s really not how it works.”
In short, the only thing sadder and more frustrating than Cawthorn’s serial dishonesty is the gullibility of voters and members of the media who fell for it and allowed him to ascend — however briefly it ends up being — to an important position of public service.
Click here to read the full story.