Claim: Signing a petition will help stop drunk driving.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2000]
We are hoping to get 5,000 signatures and then give it to the President. If you get this pledge and delete it, your selfishness knows no bounds. Make this small promise
“Somebody Should Have Taught Him”
I went to a birthday party mom
I felt proud inside mom,
I knew I made the right choice mom
I got into my car mom
Now I’m lying on the pavement, mom
My own blood is all around me, mom
I’m sure the guy had no idea, mom
So why do people do it, mom
Tell my sister not to be afraid, mom
Someone should have taught him mom
My breath is getting shorter, mom
I wish that you could hold me Mom,
SIGN AND ADHERE TO IT: “I PLEDGE TO NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE”
Origins: Losing a loved one to a drunk driver is a tragedy none of us should ever have to experience, and if passing a pledge around the Internet to never to drink and drive stops even a few people from getting behind the wheel after having a few, we’re all better off. As a petition, however (rather than a group pledge), this item is next to useless. A couple of tips for those who would begin or circulate Internet petitions:
- Unlike paper petitions, once you send an
e-petitionwinging on its way it’s out of your hands, so make sure the list includes information about its originator. The unnamed “We” who hope to present this list to the President have little chance of seeing the thousands of signatures appended by people who have no idea where to send the list once it reaches its 5,000-signature goal. Is the 5,000th signatory supposed to take it upon himself to forward it on to the White House? If he doesn’t, the efforts of 5,000 people were all for naught.
- Make sure you propose in your petition that the recipient take some particular course of action. What is the President supposed to do when he receives this list? Lobby for the creation of a national monument to drunk driving victims? Proclaim
June 24to be National Drunk Driving Awareness Day? Shake his head sadly and mutter, “Isn’t that a shame”? If your petition proposes or requests nothing, that will be the most likely result of your efforts — nothing.
Unfortunately, no matter how well-intentioned, this petition is actually having a negative impact because people who don’t know what to do with it are bombarding MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) with it, clogging their
Last updated: 18 December 2007
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