The Third West Virginian Senate Option – Max Micallef

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(Originally published on November 5, 2018 with The Student Post)

For some liberal West Virginians, Senator Joe Manchin’s vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh was their last straw of support. For others, it’s not news that the senator is essentially Republican. Washington is well aware that Manchin holds a record of pro-life, pro-NRA and anti-EPA decision making. As women, people of color and other disadvantaged groups continue to be let down, so does the LGBTQ+ community. The community itself though does not stand uninjured. Senator Manchin has directly expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Of those West Virginians that feel they are stuck in the two-party system, there is another option available. Specifically, for the liberal-minded, LGBTQ+ and allied West Virginians. Regardless of voting residence, one should not have to decide between a less conservative option, rather than the most closely aligned in ideology. There is only one third-party option in this Senate race. I was recently able to speak with the Libertarian candidate Rusty Hollen and ask him a few questions regarding his stance on LGBTQ+ rights & protections, as well as the medical services that benefit the community.

Below is my main question and U.S. Senate candidate Rusty Hollen’s response. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I appreciate the Libertarian Party’s support. Their healthcare plan, however, presents outrageous medical costs in emergency situations and treating chronic illnesses. He is a suitable compromise though if casting a write-in is not of preference and since there are no other third-party candidates.

Question: “How can you reassure the West Virginian LGBTQ+ community that they can rely on you to represent their best interest? This includes, but is not limited to, health care services vital to the community and protection from discrimination.”

Rusty Hollen: “I am a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and human rights in general. Every person is unique and I fully embrace allowing everyone to be themselves without fear of ridicule or persecution. The government has no place in regulating your life whatsoever. I have no interest in regulating the people. My interests are reigning in the government’s control over the people. I will fight to abolish our current healthcare system in favor of a direct primary care system. This will remove the need for insurance companies by making healthcare affordable for everyone. It allows healthcare providers to spend more time with their patients, where you are viewed as a person and not a number, which will vastly improve the care in which you are being provided. Rest assured, win or lose this election, I will fight the government anytime they attempt to strip anyone of any of their rights.”

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