|Bre Kidman (Photo provided to the Lewiston Sun-Journal)|
Democratic US Senate Candidate Bre Kidman and the Ideals of "the Blessings of Liberty"
The Lewiston Sun-Journal published a feature on Bre Kidman, a Maine lawyer who seeks to get their name on the ticket for the 2020 US Senate race as the Democratic opponent to Senator Susan "Aunt Lydia" Collins.
The feature is here: https://www.sunjournal.com/2019/05/03/queer-feminist-mermaid-hopes-to-unseat-susan-collins/
Kidman, who prefers they/them pronouns, is both an attorney and an artist. They "aim to be become 'the first openly nonbinary/queer senator,' and maybe bring a little glitter to the U.S. Capitol," according to the Sun-Journal feature.
The comments on Facebook were, as one might imagine, often disappointingly closed-minded and critical.
As I said in reply to a comment thread there, it seems the same people who complain that "all these politicians are the same" are also the ones to complain when someone who is avowedly quite different--but in a positive, benevolent way--isn't following enough social proprieties to qualify for their vote.
While it may be difficult for this particular candidate to succeed in their pursuit of the US Senate at this time, I appreciate the barriers they are breaking and norms they are challenging through their candidacy.
Why must one wear a red powersuit in order to have their policy proposals taken seriously? Why must one's appareance be banal, and identity be binary, in order for their civic engagement to be meaningful? These are good questions to ask.
Liberty, as a right and as an ideal, is enshrined in the Constitution. This person, living life with the blessing of as much liberty as they can muster for themselves given societal constrictions, could--if you really think about it--be a sparklingly mermaid example of what it truly means to be American and strive for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Bre Kidman's campaign website is bare bones for now. I am grateful for their courage, both in living their best life, and seeking political office despite coming nowhere close to the norms we too often needlessly seek in a politician.