Transgender activist and whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, filed papers to run against incumbent Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) in the Democratic Primary according to an article published by the Washington Post on Saturday. Manning initially gained fame as a whistle blower when she released thousands of pages of classified government documents to WikiLeaks detailing alleged war crimes committed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, after coming out as transgender while incarcerated, she went on a hunger strike when she was denied any kind of gender confirmation treatment within the facility she was incarcerated in. This turned her into a veritable hero to many in the LGBTQ community, especially those who are trans, because our brothers, sisters, and siblings who are incarcerated are often housed with those of the sex they were assigned at birth, rather than the gender they identify as, as Chelsea was, and are often denied medical treatment, despite the fact that the American Psychological Association is unified in the medical necessity of such treatments for those who choose them. Chelsea's hunger strike forever shifted the balance and raised awareness about a unique issue that faces our community.
She had originally been sentenced to be incarcerated until 2045, but President Obama commuted her sentence and she was released in May of 2017. Chelsea herself confirmed the news via Twitter on Sunday:
Of course, opinions about this news were extremely diverse. Katie couldn't understand how a person who had been convicted of a felony could possibly run:
How can a convicted felon run for Senate? As a soldier you took a view to uphold the constitution, which you didn't and went to jail for. So how can you take the same pledge as a senator? We already know you won't...— Deplorable Kathie 🇺🇸 (@kathiekennedy) January 14, 2018
Which got this swift response:
Revealing that our military is violating the constitution and international law is literally the highest form of upholding the constitution. Just because the documents had a "Top Secret" stamp on them, doesn't make it okay what they did.— Bee7875💙 (@pantallahueso) January 14, 2018
This person felt she lacked qualifications:
You're completely unqualified to be a US Senator. You have no experience in government, law or economics.— LeftDial (@LeftDial) January 14, 2018
Which garnered this epic clapback:
Marco felt she was a traitor:
And Jordan made this important point:
Ella was totally on board:
As was Martin:
You go chelsea, i'm rooting for you to shake up the system!— Martin van Vuuren (@Nokterian) January 14, 2018
Nick respected her but didn't think this particular job was for her:
Please don't.— Nick Morgan (@NickBMorgan) January 14, 2018
I support you and admire your dedication, but, you are a convicted felon with no experience in government.
You are not qualified to serve in the US Senate.
You will only be a distraction.
And this person had a very specific reason that they wanted her to win:
Girl, I want you to win this just to hear the howls of outrage from the right wing.— VƎX is angry about: ELVES (@andreuswolf) January 14, 2018
(But also because I feel you'd be a great candidate)