Thursday, August 13, 2020

The “Freefall” Continues

Recently I shared author and former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson's observation that American democracy is in “freefall” as a result of various authoritarian actions by the Trump administration and its Republican enablers in congress. That freefall continues with efforts aimed at, in the words of Rep. Ro Khanna, “destroying” the United States Post Service so as to “keep Americans from voting safely during a pandemic.”

There have been many informed and insightful commentaries written about this deplorable effort (see below) but I particularly appreciate Sen. Bernie Sanders' take.

Today on Fox, Trump made it clear that his effort to defund the Postal Service is a blatant attempt at mass voter suppression. No, Mr. President. We won't let you sabotage the election. This is a democracy, not a damn dictatorship. Your reign of authoritarianism will soon end.

Sanders is also calling for the resignation or removal of Trump's Postmaster General, Louis Dejay, over what Sanders says are “efforts to suppress the vote and undermine democracy.”

In his August 11 Common Dreams article, Jake Johnson notes that Dejay is “a major Republican donor to President Donald Trump whose brief tenure as head of the most popular government institution in the U.S. has brought major nationwide slowdowns in package delivery less than 90 days before an election that could hinge on mail-in ballots.” Such an attack on the USPS not only undermines democracy but, as Heather Cox Richardson reminds us, “dovetails with the push of the Trump administration to privatize the USPS, a push launched shortly after Trump took office.”

Adds David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect and author of the new book, Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power: “We talk about the impact of this on the elections, but I think the larger goal — and it’s a stated goal of much of the Republican Party and certainly this apparatus — is to privatize the service and to give up the monopoly on the mailbox and allow UPS and FedEx, primarily, to enter into direct competition, and degrade the service, overall. I mean, it seems clear that that’s the ultimate intent.”

Related Off-site Links:
Trump Admits He’s Blocking Funding for the Postal Service in Order to Stop Mail-In Voting – Jordan Weissmann (Slate, August 13, 2020).
Trump Just Admitted He's Sabotaging the USPS to Screw Up the Election – Cameron Joseph and Paul Blest (VICE, August 13, 2020).
Trump Says No Post Office Funding Means Democrats “Can't Have Universal Mail-In Voting” – Brett Samuels (The Hill, August 13, 2020).
Nancy Pelosi: The President of the United States Is Afraid 0f the American People – Jake Thomas (The Intellectualist, August 13, 2020).
Veterans Group Hits Draft-Dodging Trump With New Ad Blasting His War on the Mail – Sarah K. Burris (Raw Story, August 13, 2020).
Trump’s Attack on the Postal Service Is Now a National EmergencyThe Washington Post (August 12, 2020).
The Pandemic, the Post Office, and Another Trump Attack on Democracy – Steven Harper (, August 12, 2020).
Postal Service Union Leader Says Mail Sorting Equipment Being “Removed” From Post Offices, Leaving Mail to “Pile Up” – Igor Derysh (Salon, August 12, 2020).
Financial Disclosures Reveal Postmaster General Louis Dejay's Business Entanglements and Likely Conflicts of Interest, Experts Say – Marshall Cohen (CNN, August 12, 2020).
“A Conspiracy to Steal the Election, Folks”: Alarms Sound After Postal Worker Reports Removal of Sorting Machines – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, August 12, 2020).
Is Trump Sabotaging U.S. Postal Service Ahead of Election as Part of His Attack on Mail-in Voting?Democracy Now! (August 10, 2020).
Noam Chomsky: Trump Is Quite Capable of an “October Surprise” – C.J. Polychroniou (TruthOut, August 11, 2020).
“A Catastrophe”: Postal Workers Warn Trump Sabotage of USPS Could Delay Mail-In Ballots and Distort Election – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, July 31, 2020).

UPDATES: Trump Campaign Exaggerates Potential for Mail-In Voting Fraud After Election – Robert Farley (, August 14, 2020).
The Postal Service Can Handle the Election – If It’s Allowed To – Russell Berman (The Atlantic, August 14, 2020).
USPS Warns 46 States That Voters May Be Disenfranchised By Delayed Ballots – Artivia Tahir (The Intellectualist, August 14, 2020).
Postal Service Plans to Remove 671 High-Volume Mail Processing MachinesMSNBC News (August 14, 2020).
USPS Removes Mailboxes in Portland and Eugene, Cites “Declining Mail Volume” – Jayati Ramakrishnan (The Oregonian, August 14, 2020).
What a Mail Carrier Is Seeing on the Ground Right Now – Aaron Mak (Slate, August 14, 2020).
Postal Carriers Union Endorses Biden, Warns That “Survival” of USPS Is at Stake – Sahil Kapur (NBC News, August 14, 2020).
Some of the Media Is Getting Better at Calling Out Trump's Election Sabotage. But Not All – Dan Froomkin (Salon, August 14, 2020).
Michael Cohen Predicts Trump Will Steal Presidency Because He's Afraid of Jail – Jake Thomas (The Intellectualist, August 14, 2020).
Just How Far Will Trump Go? – Ronald Brownstein (The Atlantic, August 14, 2020).
People Are Taking Trump's USPS Cheating Seriously — and We Have Impeachment to Thank – Amanda Marcotte (Salon, August 17, 2020).
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Donated Big to GOP, Trump – His Wife Got Ambassador Post – Roger Sollenberger (Salon, August 18, 2020).
Post Office Chief Suspends Controversial Changes Until After Election – Barbara Sprunt (NPR News, August 18, 2020).
Still “Miles to Go” to Ensure a Safe and Fair Election, Rights Groups Say After DeJoy Announces Suspension of Changes to Mail Operations – Julia Conley (Common Dreams, August 18, 2020).
"Wholly Insufficient": Pelosi Says Postmaster General Won't Commit to Reversing USPS Changes – Marisa Fernandez (Axios Media, August 19, 2020).
DeJoy Tells Pelosi He Has “No Intention” of Undoing Postal Service Sabotage Already Done – Joan McCarter (Daily Kos, August 19, 2020).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
“We Have an Emergency On Our Hands”: Marianne Williamson On the “Freefall” of American Democracy
Fascism Is Upon Us

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