The benefit of an open, democratic government where officials are elected is the public discourse. Got a problem with the how things are run? Is there a particular issue you think needs to be addressed? In this country, we can speak up – and sometimes our government listens.
In the spirit of citizen interaction and gauging public sentiment, the White House set up an online petition system, and if an issue attains at least 100,000 digital signatures, in theory that is enough to elicit a response from the Office of the President of the United States.
A few hours ago, the petition concerning UFC fighter Nick Diaz and his five-year suspension over a possibly failed postfight drug test by the Nevada State Athletic Commission passed that 100K threshold.
This is a pretty cool thing, as it means there are a) enough people in the world who care enough about Diaz to digitally sign their name, and b) there are enough people in the world who actually know who Nick Diaz is.
It ultimately doesn’t mean much, of course. The White House has no direct authority over the administrative functions of a state agency, so it’s not like President Barack Obama is going to order the suspension lifted or send in a division of Marines. At most, a White House Deputy Press Secretary will release a brief written statement. Most likely, nothing will come of it at all.
But it’s still cool. There was a time when hardly anyone knew about this sport and its athletes. It appears the times have changed.