Red, White, and Blue Coat Syndrome
You’ve heard of White Coat Syndrome, right? Where a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure go up when they see the white coat of a doctor? I wonder if Americans have developed a contagious case of Red, White and Blue Coat Syndrome.
Do we fear writing our government officials?
Or do we doubt our impact and effectiveness?
I think the intimidation is by design. Once freed from their authorities, they can do whatever they want .
Constitutionally, we the people are their authorities, they are solely our representatives.
Childlike Intimidation Tactics
Have you ever been so intimidated by your children’s behavior that you let them do what they wanted? We’ve all been there.
Sometimes we have to remind the children – and ourselves – who the parent is.
Ditto for our elected officials.
Remember, they work for the American people.
Fears of a Writing Faux Pas
Or do we fear writing government officials because we think we must use fancy talk and big words?
Let’s Fear No More!
Writing our elected officials should be – and is, unless we make it otherwise – a simple process.
We need to tell them what we are concerned about, why we are concerned, and how we would like them to handle it.
Our answers can be simple phrases in common language.
The more simply we say it, the more clearly we will be heard.
Here are a couple of examples of a letter to a senator. Notice the same point is made in both examples:
Our communication can be as formal or as informal – or anywhere in between – as we’d like.
Within that freedom ……
Let’s Respect the Office and Be Heard
Always address the official in a respectful manner.
We are showing respect for the office, even if we disagree mightily with the individual. By showing respect, we garner respect.
We want to be heard, right?
Invite the Children
When you discuss events of the day, include an age-appropriate discussion of what’s going on in the world.
Invite them to share their opinions and suggestions for change.
Hand them a pen and the Fill-in-the-Blank Political Action Letter and let them share their views as a future voter.
While they are using their freedom to speak up, you might as well print two copies and send one yourself!
Prefer email or writing on a government contact page?
Use the same format:
Dear [use formal salutation]
I am concerned about __________ because _____________.
I would like you to ________________.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Sincerely, [your name and contact info]
We can’t change everything, but we can change some things. How will we know what will change unless we try?
P.S. Talk about a Scare!
We had quite the server scare yesterday when oodles of Bluehost websites went down for the day, including this one. Thankfully, they worked very hard to get us back online! To celebrate, I wrote this extra post!
REALITY CHECK: Not all authorities are the final authority. It’s a lesson I’m learning over and over again, like deepening grooves in a record.