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Here's an actual example of Congressional correspondence.  If you have ever contacted an elected official or bureaucrat, you've probably seen a letter typed in the same pattern as this message.  Let's take a critical look at what is actually being said, and how it is used against us.

Here is an example


Note:  the embedded pdf doesn't have the notes displayed in it.  Click on the document or hyperlink above to see more information.


To be fair, this is a fairly stock "first level contact" letter or email this one just happens to be from George Allen, but practically all offices at the federal level have a template that very much matches this pattern.  To set the context, this very early on in the grass roots effort to overturn the NPS & NWR ban on firearms (and practically any other tool usable for self defense).  Numerous phone calls, emails faxes and letters were the cause of this correspondence, certainly on the scale of several dozen, and well into the hundreds. 

This is the response that all correspondents got and it tells us a lot in what it says and what it doesn't say. 

The introduction is always a brief and very respectful acknowledgement of your inquiry or request.  There are several iterations and all are used to make the reader feel welcome to give their input.  The constituent manipulation begins from the very first words.

The 2nd paragraph, or the "As you (may) know..." paragraph usually engenders the most frustration.  Often times readers interpret this paragraph as arrogance or dismissive but it's not that.  Here the office holder is displaying his or her command of the law, understanding of issue and to some extent a sort of 'dog pack like dominance'.  Their goal here is to make you the reader think that the office holder understands even better than the constituents.  Now that they have shown their keen grasp of the situation we go right into the "I want you to go away" section.

"I will keep your thoughts in mind..." Whether there is a bill on the floor or not, rule making proposal or not, or some other action you want them to undertake, this paragraph is where you are told what will happen.  This is to make most people drop the issue with the belief that the office holder will now fight for them.  Of course we know that's not what happens.  This is how the politicians are able to get away with doing nothing but making you feel good about it.  This works very well.  Most people don't even try to contact Congress, and those who do are sure to get a message like this.  At first we think that now the office holder gets it and they're going to take care of it for us because after all, they are a "strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment". 

Here's another example: