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White House Petitions Page Continues to be A Bad Joke

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

White House petitions page, We The People, was created to give citizens a place to "engage their government on the issues that matter most to them." However, since the page went live, it has been treated like a joke, and a bad one at that. Petitions to build a Death Star or deport individuals people disagree with have been given more consideration than they should, which begs the question: Why doesn't the site have some kind of moderating system or a better moderating system?

Since the biggest news in the United States and around the world, according to cable news stations, is the juvenile antics of a pop star, an actual petition was published on the White House's page to deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card. The petition has garnered nearly 200,000 signatures to date. Yet, the petition won't do anything. The Obama administration is not going to instruct Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport Bieber.

The First Amendment protects the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances as part of the freedoms of speech and expression, but this is far from what the Founders had in mind.

Because of the first petition, the page is now filled with petitions to either deport Justin Bieber or not to deport him. It distracts from the serious petitions on the page to restore unemployment insurance or address current drug policy in the United States or do more to secure the release of POWs and Americans held captive overseas. This is what the petitions page should be used for, not to petition the government to deport someone people do not like or disagree with.

So far, websites like are proving to be more effective at petitioning and getting people involved with their communities and their government than the White House. Looking back at the failed launch of the Obamacare website, maybe the Obama administration should just stop creating websites because while its intentions may be good, they are either faulty or abused.

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