we are young and stupid and raised by wolves
(this is not real life. these are not pictures of me. I am 24 years old and a woman and passionate about politics and fanfiction and, as far as you are concerned, I only exist online.)
it’s pretty fucked up that because of the “petition to make a death star” getting so many signatures, whitehouse.gov will now only look at petitions with 100k signatures instead of 25k. way to turn a legit means of contacting the government and getting them to notice serious issues into a shitty fandom joke.
Here’s a different perspective of it, though: Why the White House Loves Your Death Star Petition
Petitions have sometimes forced the White House to respond when it otherwise might have stayed silent. Activists upset over a Hollywood effort to increase copyright rules online petitioned the White House in 2011 to issue a veto threat. As a result of the petition, the White House issued a statement laying out concerns about the Hollywood approach, contributing to the bill’s defeat in the Senate. Even the Build the Death Star petition drove huge traffic spikes on federal websites, not just to the response but to all the space-science programs it linked to. Nearly 100,000 people clicked to find out more about how to spot the International Space Station when it flies over their neighborhood.
With traffic growing, the White House raised the limit this year on the number of signatures required for a response, from 25,000 to 100,000. It still doesn’t matter how silly or challenging the request. All that matters is that it is on a subject federal government can do something about. All that matters is that it motivates multitudes.
One thing that is disgusting about the current GOP and something you’ve not touched on much since the 47% tape faded away, is that a core tenant of the GOP is that they are the makers and everyone else (the Democrats) are the takers. Look at most any of the commentary from the right since the election night and this is pushed over and over again: America is lost because now the takers outnumber the makers. This premise is patently and outrageously false.
And this is their default worldview now. Certainly the welfare state is not anywhere near as small as most everyone wants it to be, but to presuppose a Democratic voter is nothing less than a leach on society is flat out disgusting. The GOP starts with contempt for their fellow citizen and go down from there. They make it a practice to insult everyone in the middle and lower classes then wonder why nobody wants to join their team.
They insult women for caring about their personal health and freedom and viability in the workforce and wonder why there is a gender gap. They assume a successful person of color is a result of affirmative action and wonder why they don’t get credit for Condi Rice and Colin Powell. They refuse to accept that an effective safety net does not create mass poverty. Jesus had a lot to say about the poor in his day, yet I don’t think there was much of a safety net back then. The right wing today will demonize anyone who needs help and they demonize anyone who wants to give help. How is that American? How does any of that solve our real issues?
The last two Democratic presidents were honest-to-goodness American Dream success stories. Men who came from broken homes and poverty only to transcend their status to become brilliant and powerful forces in America. They should be heroes to every little kid growing up in a tough neighborhood or boring suburb.
But not on the right. They degrade both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama while at the same time trumpeting the privileged soft-handed sons of power. How is that American? How is that patriotic? How does this appeal to those of us who believe in our public schools and our dart league at the our favorite tavern and our “dinner for eight” every Saturday night at our church? Just because a person decides to write code for a living or they have to wait tables or they are promoted into middle management in some shitty corporation instead of “taking chances” and “sticking their neck out” as entrepreneurs or “Job Creators” doesn’t mean we are not good, loving Americans. And we vote Democratic now because we don’t want to hate our neighbors for simply being normal people.
Not to say the Dems are the best ever - they are not - but at least they seem to want to reflect the diversity of experience that is uniquely American. From that broad base they have the mandate to solve America’s issues as a cohesive force in it together. The Republicans are looking more and more like quasi-apartheid rulers insistent that their ideological and racial and gender purity is the only thing that will hold this country together. Frickin stupid.
reader on Andrew Sullivan’s blog
Franklin D. Roosevelt (via whiskeyslick)