On primary voting day, Hannah Risheq, who was running for delegate in Northern Virginia, approached me at the polls to discuss her policies. She said, “Ask me about any topic you care about.”
So I told her that I was concerned about the efficiency of obtaining my controlled substance prescriptions and the confidentiality of my medical care. She cut me off and said, “Oh! The Opium epidemic! I’m on that and as a social worker, there’s nothing about opium medications that I don’t know.”
Huh. Well, that wasn’t my question, but alright.
In the tutorial for ‘What Not To Say As A Politician’, “I know everything there is to know,” is a number one no-no.
No one knows everything there is to know unless God is all of a sudden imitating people running for delegate. And if she knew everything, she would’ve been able to actually address my question.
She continued with, “And you’re a woman, so I assume you have chronic pain which is why you’re asking.” I wasn’t going to disclose my private medical history with a complete stranger who’d just pigeon holed me into a stereotype based on her pop medical knowledge, so I didn’t object to this presumption. “Over 50 percent of people with chronic pain are women,” she continues, and by this point she’s making me wince with her lack of polished professionalism. “I plan to enforce a policy of supervised medication taking.” Oh … my … God.
I gasped in horror and repeated in disbelief, “Supervised medication taking.” She replied, “I want you to have your medication, I just don’t want you to shoot up.”
First off, this woman underestimates me. I’ll shoot up if I damn well please, thank you very much.
But in all seriousness, I didn’t appreciate her entitled attitude and insinuation that as a politician, she had any right to decide the type of medical care I choose to receive.
I barely got two words in during her five-minute-preach, but pretty soon she realized that I wasn’t going to vote for her and she walked away from me. No “thank you for your time”, no “goodbye”, no nothing. It was wildly unprofessional.
And she never did address my actual question.
Hannah did not win the primary vote, and I imagine that other people, regardless of what their questions or concerns were, saw the same unprofessionalism that I did.
Having at least the pretense of politeness is generally a good idea when speaking to your constituents. And as a politician, your opinion doesn’t matter. Your job is to represent MY opinion – not to bulldoze me while on your soapbox.
Politicians like this have a long way to go before they truly understand how to interact with their people and how to represent them.
Viva Privacy Rights & the Right to Our Medications,