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Caleb Hanna is young, black, conservative and fearless



Caleb Hanna

Courtesy Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislature

This story is part of the 2020 Project, a special men’s health project that examines the lives of 20 different 20-year-old men across America. To learn more about the others, click here.

ELECTED TO Caleb Hanna, who served as a Republican in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2018, took office as one of the youngest state legislators in the country in early 2019. He’s also a conservative, which makes him a rarity in an otherwise progressive generation. The Pew Research Center reports that only 30 percent of Gen Zers approve of Donald Drumpf’s performance as president – lower than the national rating. (Only 14 percent of blacks are in favor of Drumpf.) Hanna supports Drumpf by occasionally liking and retweeting his tweets. Hanna says his interest in politics actually started with Barack Obama. 2008: “I saw this charismatic black man. If he could, I could. “Then his father lost his coal mining job, which Hanna attributes in part to Obama’s clean air policies.

“It got me to balance my ideology.” No doubt Hanna was criticized. “America has a polarization problem,” he says. “We can’t just exclude, ignore or reject someone because they see the world from a different perspective.” So he defended himself in the midst of this polarization.

On old age

“I replied that the position I was running for had nothing to do with my age, it had to do with how hard I was willing to work and how much I wanted our state to be successful.”

On money (or lack thereof)

“I made up for the lack of money by knocking on countless doors and speaking to thousands of people. Meeting someone is free. “

On experience

“After I won, I got criticism that I would become a follower instead of thinking independently. I just went out there and proved them wrong. I went my own way and followed it. “

On representation

“One of the biggest steps I’ve taken to make my voice heard is to register for the vote. I don’t think there is a more powerful way to express your opinion than with the polls. “

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