Chelsea Manning officially hit the campaign trail in Maryland this weekend as part of his bid to unseat second-term Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin. And in an interview with the Associated Press, Manning revealed just how far out of the mainstream his campaign really is.
“The rise of authoritarianism is encroaching in every aspect of life, whether it’s government or corporate or technological,” he told reporters, from what the Daily Mail termed his “upscale apartment tower.” He added that he doesn’t consider himself a Democrat, but is running inside the Democratic party in order to “shake up Establishment Democrats” who are “caving in” to President Donald Trump.
But given his platform, it’s not clear he fits in even with the more extreme progressives within the Democratic Party. According to the Daily Mail, Manning favors closing prisons and freeing inmates, and making hospitals free — a policy that would, essentially, enslave doctors to the government and enslave those who need healthcare to a single payer-style system.
In addition, Manning wants to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and eliminate the United States’ southern and northern borders to allow for the free flow of immigrants in and out of the country. Oh, and just in case the healthcare for all these newcomers wasn’t costly enough, Manning supports a “universal basic income” rather than a minimum wage.
He calls it a “bigger vision.” Political science experts, according to the Daily Mail, call it a “protest candidacy,” designed to raise Chelsea Manning’s profile as a progressive hero. So far, Manning has pulled in a measly $70,000 for his campaign, with a primary looming. Sen. Ben Cardin has in excess of a quarter million dollars and is running well ahead in polls.