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Write Your Congressmen… At Their Homes!

I few months ago, I wrote my Republican congressman about health insurance reform. I wanted to persuade him to push for a Medicare for all system or even a compromised public option. A few weeks later, I got a letter back that was pretty much a form letter with a few details thrown in. Guess what? He didn’t agree with me. Shocker, I know.

A few years ago, I wrote a different Republican congressman where I lived about an issue and he sent me back the wrong form letter. Writing your congressman has about as much good as writing Santa Claus. The fact is that you already know where your congressman stands on an issue and no argument you make will persuade him because the lobbyist money is far more persuasive than anything you have to say and your congressman will almost certainly never read your letter anyway. Some intern will read it, mark a comment on a note pad, and file your letter away.

Calling your congressman is even more useless. In fact, the only thing less useful then calling your congressman about an issue you disagree with him on is e-mailing him or signing an online petition. Going to his office and talking to him in person might have some small affect, but not nearly as much as the donations he gets from lobbyists. So don’t waste your time.

Not to worry, I do have a plan that just might get your elected representative to seriously consider what you are trying to tell him. Write them at their homes! After all, they send you all kinds of crap every election season so now it is our turn to send them something with a bit more substance.

They probably get about the same amount of mail everyday as you do so when they get a hand written envelope at home, either they will read it personally or their spouse read it first. If their spouse does read it first and you make a good argument, there is no lobbyist money to counter it because family trumps lobbyist most of the time.

If you want, address the letter to the spouse or to the household in general. Make good arguments and really sell them on your ideas. Get your friends to do it too. Do your research and learn about your representative personally and what they believe. Find out how politically active their spouse is and use every scrap of information you can find to help sway them.

The lower on the political chain you go the more effective this strategy will probably be. State representatives will be more easily swayed than congress people. County and local representatives will take you really seriously if you write them at their home.

Politicians get a lot of mail at the office, but their home is their castle. They get the same amount as you do. A hand addressed envelope gets more attention than a piece of junk mail so it is pretty likely you will get your message to your elected official without getting the intern screening the mail. If enough people do this, they will also be annoyed enough to take you seriously. They might even have to hire someone to go through their mail at home. That would create a job. So this plan actually is a job creator. We’re coming… We’re coming to their house!

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