I despise identity politics. To reduce one’s worth or meaning to an arbitrary feature or characteristic like skin color is the antithesis of progress.
It’s no secret that leftists and Democrats love their identity politics. They’re always identifying things like racism or sexism under the cynical idea that it’ll help unite voters under their banner.
The truth of the matter is that identity politics, by definition, don’t unite. They divide.
Frankly, the content of one’s character and beliefs should always be more important than the color of one’s skin or ethnic background.
Those are just some of the reasons why seeing a legislator like Caleb Hanna rise in prominence is so exciting.
Now, if I were a Democrat or a leftist, I might focus on the fact that he’s a young black man who’s won a seat on the West Virginia state legislature at the insanely young age of just 19. It’s one thing to describe Hanna by mentioning his skin color, there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is when leftists begin defining people by their skin color.
That’s exactly why I instead want to focus on what makes Hanna such an exciting young lawmaker. And it has nothing to do with skin color.
According to a candidate profile provided to The Register Herald in May, the young Republican is made of the right stuff and stands for the right stuff.
“I’m proudly a Christian conservative and was raised on the belief that success is built with hard work, commitment and dedication – West Virginia values that continue to guide me today,” Hanna said.
According to the West Virginia MetroNews, Hanna won his seat in the state House District 44 by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in November’s general election.
That win made him unique among American lawmakers, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
“At that moment, Hanna became the youngest African-American in America to be elected to a state legislature, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. The results were 1,306 to 874 in the fragmented 44th District, which includes all of Webster County, half of Nicholas County and a couple of precincts in Randolph and Upshur counties.”
— ACGR (@ACGR) January 13, 2019
Hanna’s stances echo some of the hallmarks of modern conservatism.
“I support the WV Pro-Life movement and have been endorsed in the Republican Primary by West Virginians for Life. I also fully support the 2nd Amendment and our right to bear arms,” Hanna said in May. “I will be a passionate, effective, and conservative fighter for limited government, economic growth, and the Constitution.”
Another aspect of conservatism that Hanna is shaped by is his family upbringing.
“When I was only 10 years old, I heard my father say, ‘The American Dream is getting harder to find. Opportunities are becoming tougher to come by, and the simple idea, of by doing the right thing and working hard you can provide for your family, just really isn’t so simple anymore.’ From that moment, I knew I wanted to somehow help and serve the people of the great Mountain State.
“My goal is very simple, and that’s to bring A New Era of Leadership to West Virginia government. By implementing my youth and skills into government, I can provide a fresh new perspective to policy making that is not usual but is certainly effective,” Hanna said. “I have vision for opportunity that others typically miss, and West Virginia needs that now more than ever. I have a lot of pride for this state I’ve always called home.”
Compare Hanna’s rhetoric to some of the drivel pushed by young leftists like congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’ve never been one to summarily dismiss someone because of their youth. I don’t care that Hanna and Ocasio-Cortez are so young for their respective positions.
I care about what they have to say.
Ocasio-Cortez says foolish things that threaten to disrupt the American democracy with her socialist and leftist ideals.
Hanna seems like a smart young man who wants to genuinely improve his country. That’s worth lauding and I can’t wait to see what he does next.