One of the more interesting Whitehouse.gov “We The People” petitions wants the Secretary of the Navy to name the next major vessel USS The Deplorables.
The petition, started last week, simply reads the name should be bestowed, “To honor those citizens who rose up to defend America and The Constitution from the globalists.”
In case you missed it, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in September said half of Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables” which some Trump supporters immediately embraced.
The name suggestion adds fuel to the fire of controversial naming conventions adopted by the Pentagon in recent years.
The current Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, a former Democratic governor of Mississippi and President Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, this year named the new Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) after the California gay rights leader.
In 2010, he named the amphibious transport dock ship USS Murtha (LPD-26) after Democratic Congressman John Patrick Murtha, while all of the other vessels of the class were named after cities.
Mabus followed this up in 2011 by naming two Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ships, traditionally named after explorers, after civil rights leaders Cesar Chavez and Medgar Evers.
In 2012, Mabus named a vessel in the Independence-class of littoral combat ship, which otherwise carry the names of small cities, USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10).
As of Friday morning the Deplorables effort had just over 6,300 signatures and needs 100,000 by Jan. 3, 2017 to get a response from the White House. As Trump will not be inaugurated until Jan. 20, the petition, if successful, will go to the current administration.
It is not the only White House petition in the past few months to drum up new and non-traditional names for additions to the Navy List. In August an unsuccessful petition sought to rename the USNS Harvey Milk to USS Harambe, the silverback gorilla shot at the Cincinnati Zoo in May.
“It also offers a strategic advantage: the name Harambe — even whispered — will demand respect, obeisance, and awe,” read that effort which garnered 2,400 signatures before it closed. “A USS Harambe will strike fear in the hearts of our enemies in a way that the name ‘Milk’ never could. USS Harambe will remind the world that America never forgets its heroes.”