By Jack Mandaville I want to make a few of my...
By RU Contributor SGT Awesome
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In 2012 the Obama administration launched We The People , an online petition website to supposedly make it easier for the average Joe to have his voice heard by the White House (because our representative’s are no longer representing the people?).
I can see their idea as noble if it were in a vacuum, unfortunately I live in reality and I can’t see it as any more than mere pandering to the lowest common denominator.
However, for the sake of fairness, let’s take a look at the process and see if we can find any redeeming value.
Step 1 to creating a petition: You create a snazzy headline and search around for similar petitions and if none are found you then have 800 characters (that’s almost six tweets worth!) to petition the White House about whatever your heart may desire.
Step 2 is to spam your Facebook/Twitter feeds to get your friends to sign the petition and once you get 150 signatures it will finally be searchable on the website.
Step 3 is to continue to spam everyone you know to try and hit 25,000 signatures in 30 days. If you are able to accomplish this, your petition officially gets put in a queue to be reviewed and maybe responded to… or not.
If your petition is deemed worthy of a response, it will be up on the website for all to see. One such petition to “Immediately halt the cruel and unnecessary use of monkeys in Army chemical casualty management training courses,” received a response of:
“Thank you for your participation in the We the People platform on WhiteHouse.gov
On September 20th, 2011, the Army stated that it would no longer use monkeys as part of life-saving training at Aberdeen Proving Ground. This change was long planned, and was made possible by improved technology, the development of alternative training methods, shifting chemical threat environments, and changes in the medical competencies required of first responders during a chemical incident.”
Fuck yeah! Look at that, power of the people! I guess…
Anyway there are essentially three types of petitions: The whiney ones wanting Obama to use his Staples Easy Button to fix the world, the whiney retarded ones that have nothing to do with the White House, and ones who are just using the internet for what it was intended for, sarcasm. A couple examples of those were The Duffle Blog’s petition to allow Soldiers to put their hands in their pockets, or another where petitioners wanted a statue of Master Chief (of Halo fame) to be built upon the White House grounds. Alas, neither received 25,000 signatures in the allotted timeframe. One to begin building a Death Star by 2016 has surpassed the required 25,000 signatures but is currently in a queue limbo.
On any given day when you peruse the current searchable petitions you will see a slew of similar petitions about whatever is currently being talked about by the main stream media (There are currently five about the Westboro Baptist Church, one of which is setting signature records, a bunch of requests for the White House to do things that aren’t even remotely in the purview of the Executive Branch, and one or two worthwhile petitions on a rare occasion.
I can see no pattern as to what actually gets responded to, it almost seems random. However there is a response to a petition to take the petitions seriously, so I guess it must be legit…
As far as I can tell, the only worthwhile response is where they give out a recipe to the White House beer because, well, beer.
I wonder, if Ranger Up Nation were to petition the White House, what would be our objective, to get the President to tell Congress to “Ranger the fuck up” and pass a budget? Or maybe to have more shirtless pictures of Tim Kennedy added to the Gerber Knives?
Sound off in the comments people, let your voice be heard!