The motto spoke to how the men and women of the U.S. Postal Service carried out their duties: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
It would be hard to call such a rallying cry mere rhetoric. Having ditched “postmen” for “couriers,” the motto might have changed over time to reflect contemporary mores, but regardless of the term for “mail carriers,” they have trudged through and leapt whatever got in their way.
Then came Donald J. Trump.
In its history, USPS has never faced such a challenge. Trump’s obsessed with scuttling the Postal Service. He’s denied the service billions in operational dollars and slowing deliveries, actions that are blatantly, unapologetically partisan. Anyone who wants to dispute the point need do no more than listen to the man’s words:
“They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.”
Speaking on his media mouthpiece Fox, Trump attacked USPS as if it were TikTok. He has found nothing good to say about it, although he’s used mail-in (or absentee) ballots often. So have members of the Trump clan. Millions of voters have too. Until Trump, nobody raised a fuss over it.
In fact, politicians on the left and on the right have championed mail-in voting.
Few of them, however, thought the practice would be a political lightning rod in the 2020 election.
Then again, they didn’t count on the desperation of an intemperate, immoral president, whose popularity among eligible voters has tanked like the job market.
While no person should rely on their accuracy, polls suggest Trump will have a difficult time winning a second term if voters do vote. He and his strategists are trying to restrict the access to voting for groups who loathe the man.
A goodly number of Americans do find him loathsome and, worst of all, racist.
Even those people who don’t have a difficult time defending the man notice that he has put self and his political legacy ahead of all else.
Yet not a single thing he’s done in his four years in office has proved as self-serving as his trying to deny Americans the right to vote. Efforts to defund the Postal Service, one of the most respected arms of government, have created in Trump the false hope that doing so will save his presidency.
Trump governs in a democracy. He can’t copy the tactics of Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, dictators who silence the masses and corrupt the electoral process.
Voting by mail isn’t new here. Nor does it carry a history of fraud, a truth Trump lies about on the campaign trail.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” he tweeted Thursday.
He’s just trumping up political mischief. One person, one vote … it’s been a staple of democracy, just as the USPS has been. It has stood America in good stead for most of its history.
Why should that change now?