President Obama
United States of America

This petition is a duplicate of one that was submitted at the White House petition site on April 10th. Unfortunately, petitions submitted there must gather at least 100,000 signatures within 30 days in order to be assured of a response. So the purpose of this petition is twofold:

1. To serve as a backup in case >>>>>the original fails to reach the 100,000 goal in time. This one will then be left open until it attains that signature total, at which time a new petition will be submitted to the Trump Administration. And following that, all signatories to this petition will be alerted by email so that they can sign the new one.

2. To provide more extensive background information than can be included in the extremely limited space provided at the White House petition site.

Before providing more background information on legislative branch e-petitions systems around the world, however, I think it's important to take a look at the one currently being operated by our federal government's executive branch. President Obama provided us with a number of innovative ways to make our voices heard in our nation's capital, but most of them were not retained by President Trump. Fortunately, the one major exception has been his We the People petition site, where "Anyone 13 or older can create or sign a petition," And where any petition that acquires "100,000 signatures within 30 days" is assured of a response.

Unfortunately, responses from the Trump Administration thus far have been relatively brief and evasive. Especially so in comparison to those from officials in the Obama Administration. But don't let that discourage you from utilizing this powerful means of making your voices heard. First of all, because (as this study from the Pew Research Center revealed) some of the petitions submitted to the Obama Administration were quite successful. This one in particular. Here's what its author, Sina Khanifar, had to say about it:

"This is a big victory for consumers, and I'm glad to have played a part in it. A lot of people reacted skeptically when I originally started the petition, with lots of comments to the effect of 'petitions don't do anything.' The optimist in me is really glad to have proved them wrong. The White House just showed that they really do listen, and that they're willing to take action."

Secondly, because most of what has been submitted to the Trump Administration thus far has been either very antagonistic (like this one), or has asked them to support policies that their previous statements or actions indicated they would likely oppose (like this one). So if we limit ourselves to submitting petitions that President Trump and members of his administration won't instinctively disagree with, and we do so in a respectful manner, we just might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

And lastly, because it gives those who are still too young to vote the opportunity to learn by doing that elections are not the only means we have of making our voices heard.

That's extremely important because our country's high schools have been failing to provide most of us with an adequate education in government and civics ever since the 1960s.

Although the situation has improved since the above 2011 video, especially here in Florida, our country still has a long way to go. And that's why I think it's so important that we encourage our country's youth to take part in doing such things as writing petitions to the White House and Congress.

And the results might wind up surprising a lot of us who were poorly educated in history, government, and civics. I say that because, as an historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recently reminded us, our country's youth have "helped save democracy" before. And "If anyone should be choosing the issues in politics, it should be the young, for they have a longer future to provide for."

Both the Democratic and Republican Parties have been providing us with platforms during presidential election years since the 1850s. And although many voters scoff at them as being irrelevant, studies have shown that they are pretty reliable indicators of what to expect from the members of each party. For example, "Overall, Democrats in Congress voted for positions that matched their platforms 74 percent of the time in the past 30 years, while Republicans did so 89 percent of the time."

And with an impressive track record like that, I find it difficult to understand why both parties have been reluctant to provide us with midterm platforms. After all, a lot can change during two years (especially in our fast-paced modern world), so you'd think they would jump at the chance to let us know what they'd like to focus on accomplishing if we vote for them. But only on rare occasions have they chosen to do so. (For example, the Republicans' "Contract With America" in 1994, and the Democrats' "A New Direction For America" in 2006.)

So I hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to link this domain name to a "2018 Platforms" section of your online headquarters. Its mission will be to lead the rest of us in a successful effort to convince both of our major parties to provide the American people with midterm platforms on a regular basis. And if you can pull it off, I'll transfer ownership of MidtermPlatforms.Org to you next year. That will enable you to create an easy-to-remember web site where voters can access this year's midterm platforms, as well as all future ones.

Just as relevant today as wen it was made 6 years ago:

All voters, especially the 40+ percent who are independents, have a right to expect at least that much from those we elect to serve us.

* Politifact won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for "separating rhetoric from truth to enlighten voters" in their coverage of the 2008 election.


The Demand the Resignation of Special White House Adviser Van Jones petition to President Obama was written by Tom Foreman and is in the category Politics at GoPetition.