Trump vs. the Post Office

President Trump’s absurd crusade against mail-in voting is why the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is now at the top of the presidential hit list.

Never mind that sabotaging the USPS is unconstitutional. Never mind that trying to influence an election is precisely why the president was impeached last December. Never mind that the president himself votes by mail. If there is one thing I’ve learned from this president, it’s that he will say and do anything to stay in power and belittle his enemies.

Back during the 16 campaign, Trump said that if he was elected, we would “get bored with winning.” Winning at what, you ask? I’m not sure. But this comment was an insightful look at how Trump operates: winning (or at least, the perception of it) trumps everything, including empathy, values, and morals. To lose is a sign of weakness, a scarlet letter. The world is full of winners and losers and one has to choose which camp they want to be in.

This worldview is just, so toxic. But it’s how Trump views life. Even though he’s failed at just about everything he’s tried to do (from business to politics), it’s not losing if he’s able to spin it as a “win.”

Now, with reputable polls showing Trump may go down in an electoral shellacking this fall, his strategy to win re-election is the tried and true Republican playbook of voter suppression. The USPS just happens to be the scapegoat since it’s the only agency authorized to deliver ballots.

Unfortunately for the president, the USPS is one of the few public institutions that is still relatively popular, even in this highly polarized era. It delivers vital medications to people’s doorsteps (more important than ever in a pandemic), Social Security checks to our nation’s seniors, and mail to rural areas without reliable access to the Internet, among other things. No wonder it gets such high marks, like in this Gallup survey from last year:

As we get closer and closer to Election Day, I think it’s more important than ever that people make a plan about how they’re going to vote ahead of time to avoid crowding the polls in a pandemic. Most states offer some form of early in-person voting. Furthermore, while the USPS is the only agency that can deliver a mail-in ballot to your mailbox, in most states voters can personally drop off their ballot once they’ve filled it out at local election offices or at a voter drop box near them. This is important because Trump’s sabotage of the USPS includes physically slowing down processing times for mail, and in most states there are certain rules about when mail-in ballots have to be postmarked and/or received by election officials for them to count.

To learn more, check out this guide from Axios about early & mail-in voting in each state and go to iwillvote.com to make a plan about how you’re going to vote.

The added benefit of voting early (either in-person or by requesting a ballot and dropping it off), is that we are more likely to see an outcome to the election either on Election Day or shortly thereafter. If enough people do this, election officials will have more time to count ballots and are less likely to be overwhelmed by a surge of in-person voting on Election Day itself. So it’s a win-win; you will be able to rest easy knowing you’ve been able to securely cast a ballot without risking your health, and the uncertainty of knowing who won the election will also be diminished.

Make a plan. Vote.

Countdown to Election Day: 79 days

I’ve decided to introduce a new section counting down how many days there are until the election since I started this blog as a side project leading up to it.

This Week’s WTF Moment in Congress 

Congress is, inexplicably, on recess in the middle of a pandemic, so I don’t have a WTF Moment in Congress to share from this past week. So maybe I should make this section be a This Week’s WTF Political Moment? With Trump, though, the opportunities are endless and I have other things I need to do besides this blog…

Reading List 

The Most Tremendous Reelection Campaign in American History Ever (New York Magazine)

US political conventions, explained: Why we still have them and what will happen in 2020 (CNN)

The Trump administration haphazardly gave away millions of Covid-19 masks — to schools, broadcasters, and large corporations (STAT)

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