I suppose if you live in Maryland, or are staying up better with your transgender politics than even I do, you may have lost track of Chelsea Manning. If you have, here is a look at what she has been up to a year after President Barack Obama commuted her sentence. This story comes from the Washington Post:
"Manning, who became America’s most famous convicted leaker isn’t taking an extended vacation. Far from it: The Oklahoma native has decided to make an unlikely bid for the U.S. Senate in her adopted state of Maryland.
Manning, 30, filed to run in January and has been registered to vote in Maryland since August. She lives in North Bethesda, not far from where she stayed with an aunt while awaiting trial. Her aim is to unseat Sen. Ben Cardin, a 74-year-old Maryland Democrat who is seeking his third Senate term and previously served 10 terms in the U.S. House.
Manning, who also has become an internationally recognized transgender activist, said she’s motivated by a desire to fight what she sees as a shadowy surveillance state and a rising tide of nightmarish repression."
Here is her platform:
"Close prisons and free inmates; eliminate national borders; restructure the criminal justice system; provide universal health care and basic income. The top of her agenda? Abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency created in 2003 that Manning asserts is preparing for an “ethnic cleansing.”
Manning ticks off life experiences she believes would make her an effective senator: a stint being homeless in Chicago, her wartime experiences as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst in Iraq — even her seven years in prison. She asserts she’s got a “bigger vision” than establishment politicians.
But political analysts suspect the convicted felon is not running to win.
“Manning is running as a protest candidate, which has a long lineage in American history, to shine light on American empire,” said Daniel Schlozman, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University. “That’s a very different goal, with a very different campaign, than if she wanted to beat Ben Cardin.”
Manning’s insurgent candidacy thus far has been a decidedly stripped-down affair, with few appearances and a campaign website that just went up. In recent days, she approached an anti-fracking rally in Baltimore almost furtively, keeping to herself for much of the demonstration. But when it was her turn to address the small group, her celebrity status was evident. People who never met her called her by her first name and eagerly took photos."
For the record, I don't think what Manning did was right and did the entire transgender community a dis-service (not to mention the country) when she did it.