Repost By @the.peoples.post: OVER THE WEEKEND, Chelsea Manning announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate by posting a video outlining the broad themes of her campaign. Manning, a whistleblower who served seven years in a U.S. military brig for exposing systemic U.S. war crimes, was held under prison conditions so brutal that the United Nations formally denounced them as “inhumane.”
While her whistleblowing made her a hero around the world, Manning has also now become an icon of LGBT equality and transgender rights with an act of profound bravery that at least matches, if not surpasses, her whistleblowing. She announced her transition and demanded the dignity and treatment to which she was entitled, while she was imprisoned in the middle of a sprawling U.S. military base, in a brig at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Since her release from prison, she has become a visible and outspoken advocate for the rights of trans people. She has used her position as a Guardian columnist to stake out a wide range of positions, including drafting a proposed law to provide protections for whistleblowers. She certainly has more political experience and activism than many other Senate candidates previously supported by the Democratic establishment (Al Franken comes to mind as one example). If elected, Manning would become the first transgender woman ever, and the youngest woman ever, to serve in the U.S. Senate.
Manning’s opponent in the Democratic Party primary is one of the most standard, banal, typical, privileged, and mediocre politicians in the U.S. Congress: Benjamin Cardin, a 74-year-old white, straight man who is seeking his third six-year Senate term. Cardin’s decadeslong career as a politician from the start has been steeped in unearned privilege: He first won elective office back in 1966, when his uncle, Maurice Cardin, gave up his seat in order to bequeath it to his nephew Benjamin. With this dynastic privilege as his base, he has spent the last 50 years climbing the political ladder in Maryland.
Cardin has remarkably few achievements for being in Congress for so many years. (Continued in comments)
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