It seems like there is a lot going on politically and culturally these last few weeks. Not that there isn’t always, but the last few weeks with the sequestration, cutting funding to some military programs, the Supreme Court hearing arguments on Prop 8 and the DOMA, new arguments on gun control, and new restrictions on abortion, it’s been kind of crazy.
But I also discovered something pretty neat amidst the chaos, in the form of the Whitehouse Petitions website. I had heard of it, but I never really knew much about it before. Basically, someone introduces a topic, and it can literally be anythinggggggg. Here are some examples:
- Require Congressmen and Senators to wear logos of their financial backers on their clothing, much like Nascar drivers do.
- Repeal the sequester’s cuts on NASA’s spending in public outreach and it’s STEM programs.
- Create a national “R2-D2” day whose motto is “selfless not selfish” and commemorates under-appreciated heroes.
You just make your petition, and share it. If enough people sign on to the cause (usually 100,000, but sometimes more depending on the issue) the White house will review it, send it on to the appropriate policy makers, and issue an official response.
Even though people in this country are always going to disagree and complain about the way things are done here, I think it’s pretty amazing, especially when you consider how people are treated in other countries by their own governments, that we are lucky enough to live in a country where we can actually petition our government for things, and if enough of us want it, they have to at least consider it. Some people aren’t nearly so fortunate.