While we are familiar with our constitutionally protected right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances,” we’re not as familiar with what happens to those petitions.
In other words, are they just ignored if the recipient doesn’t like the content of the petition?
Put another way, it is all just a big waste of time – to be brief, is this a right that doesn’t really amount to much?
Drawing such a conclusion would be an error.
Even if the petition went nowhere, the right to present it includes a more fundamental right, and that is our right to engage in free speech on matters political.
People cannot be hauled off to prison for making statements highly critical of the government and its leaders unless there is a threat of violence contained within such speech or petitions.
A petition drive is now in place to ask President Trump to officially recognize the left-wing and often violent group “Antifa” as a terrorist organization with all that implies.
To answer the question as to what happens with this petition is that basically nothing will happen until it gains 70,000 signatures, then it will get a reply from the White House.
Obviously, the reasonable intent is to prevent the White House from having to respond to every fringe petition it receives that can only get a few thousand supporters in a nation of 300 million.
“‘Antifa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States,’ the petition reads.
“Antifa has been known to provoke right-wing activists, and has made appearances in Berkeley, California, in March and Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.
“In the most recent incident in Charlottesville, the violent protesters clashed with right-wing activists protesting the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee.”
Granting what is requested by this petition would create a political firestorm. Of course, one is already raging, so this would just amplify the rage we are seeing from the left.
“Although Trump has not called out ‘Antifa’ by name, he did condemn white supremacists and violent ‘alt-left’ protesters.”
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For all their protestation that they are the true guardians of equality, the left doesn’t seem to like it when it is treated the same as those of other political persuasions.
This disingenuous approach to the issues is part of what makes some liberal complains so difficult to accept.
Anyway, nothing official is happening with this petition yet, with reports stating that “[t]he petition had 29,169 signatures as of Saturday evening – still shy of just over 70,000 signatures before it is eligible for an official response from the White House.”
If there are those who want to see what happens to a petition when it is properly submitted to the White House, all they have to do is start signing.