The White House has set up a petition site for Internet commenters, which is weird, because it's usually in favor of democracy.* "We the People" lets random users make demands of the government. YouTube comments already provide more convincing arguments against democracy than Marx and Mao combined. After all, the person asking Yahoo Answers "How is babby formed?" doesn't just have the same number of votes as you -- they and their accidental offspring have at least five times as many.

*ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Guarantee insane political comments in the lead sentence.

Now that the government has given democracy itself a comment section, let's see what the Internet is doing with it, shall we?

"Show Us the Aliens"

NOTE:Petitions are notoriously wordy because idiots think talking longer makes a stronger argument. Links to the full text are provided below each image.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

Full X-Files Text

It's obvious that there's life somewhere else in the universe (especially since
every star has planets), and equally obvious that there's none on Earth. The government can't even hide their representatives' genitals from us, never mind spaceships.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

"If I told you that you could ride it into space, would you look at the pictures of it?"

We're not saying E.T.-ophiles are bad at research, but they submitted
two petitions on the exact same subject on the same day. They couldn't get through a single website without missing important evidence and wasting their time. The best part of their petition is "Opinion polls now indicate more than 50 percent of the American people believe there is an extraterrestrial presence and more than 80 percent believe the government is not telling the truth about this phenomenon." They directly equate this belief with existence, instead of proving an urgent need for educational reform. Or legislation against making up imaginary statistics. Though to be fair, "belief = proof" is the exact argument millions of other Americans use to justify beings in the sky.

This petition is supported by the "Paradigm Research Group," who make the Atlantean Time-Share Group look well thought out. And they've apparently been too busy watching the skies since 1998 to make a new website.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

Yes, these are people on the cutting edge of information technology.

The petitions gained 17,000 signatures, so the government decided to respond and subtract 17,000 from every future vote on anything. The reply pointed out that there wasn't any evidence, at all, and listed all the awesome searches for off-world life currently being conducted by people who know how to work a brain. Faced with overwhelming evidence and the entirety of NASA, the Paradigm Research Group tried a second petition asking for the exact same things again. They just keep plugging away until they're satisfied, no matter how hilariously they embarrass themselves. If we thought the submitter had a girlfriend, we'd feel sorry for her.

Energy "Catalizer"

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

Full text

The petition is written in the third person, but there hasn't been an unlikelier third person since Adam and Eve's wacky alien gardener, Zorblu. This isn't Rossi's first try at sock-puppeting:
His blog features comments from documentary makers, international think-tank executives, global business clients and probably a few wizards begging to buy this amazing product. It's less convincing than a teenager renaming his right hand "girlfriend from Canada."

And while we can't say for sure that Andrea Rossi hasn't mastered the physics of an energy catalyzer, he can't even spell "catalyzer." His invention allegedly fuses hydrogen and nickel to produce copper and energy. We won't get into the impossibilities here, but it has more logical flaws than Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and is believed to actually exist by fewer people.

Even though every respectable scientist in the world says his machine is full of shit, he's skipping straight to the White House. Because it's not like the U.S. government has any history of knowing about nuclear devices.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

These rubes don't know a thing about fusion.

Rossi insists that his invention, which looks like it was welded by a depressed plumber to express the bleakness of a lifetime spent with other people's U-bends, works by using a "secret mixture" of catalysts to fuse hydrogen and nickel into copper. You know you can trust a nuclear reactor that uses the same explanation as KFC.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

"As long as it's not clogged with hair, it generates free energy."

Especially when they're talking about a reaction that is energetically impossible even in the heart of a large star. His work has been published in the "Journal of Nuclear Physics," but only because that's the name he gave his blog. It's like changing your first name to Doctor and trying to operate on people. The device is actually a reverse Schrodinger's cat, because if the reaction ever works it'll kill everyone attempting to observe it. The 2 inches of lead shielding around the core are to gamma rays what cling wrap is to an angry tiger.

Rossi reportedly has a history with
fraudulent companies and alleged metals, and a preliminary patent review reported that his claims "offend against the generally accepted laws of physics." When a government body has to point out that you're insulting reality, your invention would be rejected by He-Man as an implausible source of energy.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken


Evil Corporate Cure Conspiracy

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

Full text

The idea that corporations are hiding a cure for cancer is popular with paranoid lunatics who don't understand science, medicine, patents or profit.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

"What are you idiots saying now?"

It's a little-known effect that conspiracy theories always attract the exact opposite kind of lunatic: people who never leave their basement believe aliens have traveled all the way to Earth, people who can't spell think superscientists have cured all disease and assholes who are virgins think only assholes get women.

This petition is such a contradictory mixture of cynical and optimistic it shouldn't exist. Care Bears with ecstasy make more sense, because at least then you'd understand why they're so huggy all the time. The 591 petitioners believe that huge corporations would rather let people die than become the most successful brand of all time by curing a disease forever, but that the same EvilCorp will hand over the cure if there's a law saying so. The law is less enforceable than the three-second rule on the International Space Station.

Especially since their strategy is "There's a giant conspiracy that has suppressed evidence for decades, so we'll ask them online instead." If there were a secret government conspiracy to paralyze the masses and distract them with pointless bullshit, they would have
invented the Internet. Internet petitions are a less effective form of protest than punching the pillow you're crying into.

Spamming the White House

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

Full text

The entire Internet is choking on spam, and this petition proves that government projects are no exception. When Skynet comes online and decides to kill us, we'll be fine -- by the time it digs through all the Viagra ads to get at the nuclear launch codes, spam bots will have evolved and be targeting it with ads screaming "GET A BIGGER HARD DRIVE NOW!" Also, we like the idea of the White House getting mail from a Nigerian prince, and Barack Obama resisting the urge to write back explaining he's the American president.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

Dear Nigerian royalty, thank you for your mail, and for being more reasonable and believable than people I have to work with on a daily basis.

Confusing the White House for an advertising agency, supporters of electronic cigarettes have been calling on the government to endorse e-cigs and "support job creation" in the vast e-cig manufacturing complexes that would surely result. The government refused, on the minor grounds that
FDA testing had recommended against them. As does Health Canada. And the World Health Organization doesn't recommend them. And a tobacco regulation meeting discussing the issue in Uruguay included Saudi Arabia and Thailand, where e-cigs are banned. Holy shit, we don't know anything about e-cigarettes, but when Thailand goes to Uruguay to warn people about something being bad for you body, that's a warning we listen to.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken
Wikimedia Commons

Thailand being well known for things you can safely put in your mouth.

This isn't about e-cigs: This is about turning anything online into a sales pitch. The
official response made it clear that smoking was indeed bad, and the second there actually was any more valid scientific data on sticking an electrical circuit full of chemicals in your face, the subject would be reconsidered. They resisted the urge to point out you can't just skip FDA testing by asking nicely.

Internet Users Are Better Than Other People!

Internet users are often more ridiculously entitled than Capo del Governo Duce del Fascismo e Fondatore dell'Impero Sua Eccellenza Mussolini. But not as likable. And they've been submitting petitions that make monitors refresh at the exact frequency of whine. We know this is a long one, but imagine you actually had something to do (like running the country) and still had to wade through such bullshit:

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

Syllabus of Internet Whining 101, aka the Full Text, here

Poisoning the rest of the Internet with passive aggression was just a testing ground for this assault on the heart of democracy. It's a black belt lesson in Internet whine-fu techniques: dictionary definitions, sarcasm and threatening. Multiple period. Sentences. You can almost see neckbeards quivering with pride as that final line was typed. Listen, asshole, if you want to make the White House obey your demands, that keyboard needs to be connected to an orbital laser cannon, not an Internet comment box.

5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken
20th Century Fox

"In the wake of the recent laser strike, the relocated U.S. government acknowledges that modern warfare does indeed 'rule.'"

"We the People" was a cute attempt to get some feedback and prove that a few people in the government knew what an Internet was. These petitions are outraged that it's not a democracy override system; 30,319 idiots honestly expected the government to do whatever random Internet commenters tell them to, which isn't just dangerous but often physically impossible unless you have a circular spine. Their math argues that every Internet petitioner's vote is worth 10,000 regular ones, which is the only way this group of idiots would actually represent the American population.

The biggest problem with the petitions is that they aren't impassioned signatories coming together to voice their support for a specific cause. Like a porn site or My Little Pony forum, any Internet voting site has a clique of regular users who tab through to click on everything they like and imagine they're changing the world. It's a sadder Internet fantasy than commenters explaining which female celebrities they would and wouldn't sleep with, as if said starlets were standing by depantied and ready to deploy.

The best bit is how several of the petitions demand that the president make things happen by "just" signing an executive order, as if the only reason President Obama hasn't just been fixing things is that he's forgotten he could do that.


"I'm sure glad GearsFag333 reminded me I could do this!"

Luke McKinney also defends democracy from idiots with John McClane in the Greatest Movie Drinking Games Ever. He also tumbles and has a website.

You can also read 5 Reasons Humanity Is Terrible at Democracy, or see what would happen If White House Press Briefings Were Honest.

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