Online petitions aren’t worth the electrons on which they are printed (at least not until I take over the Senate, pass a secure online petitioning law, and get Secretary Krebs to hire David Bergan to wire the system up). When peddled by candidates and political action committees, online petitions are usually just thinly disguised tools to harvest your e-mail for future spam.
But if you’re going to pretend to offer a petition, you could at least pretend to offer us specific language that looks like a petition. Congresswoman Kristi Noem trolls for e-mail addresses with just such a fake petition on the GOP spin blog.
“PROTECT THE 2ND AMENDMENT”, the ad shouts. O.K., let’s click and read this petition.
It’s unacceptable, and we cannot allow them to ignore the will of the American people.
Stand with me in this important fight to protect the 2nd Amendment by signing my petition now and help me send a clear message that we’re committed to defending our gun rights! [Kristi for Congress, e-mail harvester, screen capped 2016.04.17]
That’s not a petition; that’s a request that I sign a petition. It doesn’t tell me which executive orders (still fewer than Reagan) and policies I’m protesting. It doesn’t tell me what action this petition calls for to protect gun rights. It sounds more like something I’d get from the Silver Bullet mercenary circulators whom Jason Glodt and Lisa Furlong hired to circulate their initiative petitions last year.
Hmm… maybe Kristi is just applying her approach to legislation: don’t bother reading it—just sign it because it sounds good. I punch in some info to advance the screen…
…nope! Nothing. No petition language to read. Just thanks, and Kristi’s campaign server getting a series of bouncebacks from WeLearnNothing@DakotaWarCollege.com. Dang, she could at least send me some coupons for those really snazzy earrings she wears pheasant-hunting.