Trump’s war on the postal service

It has been clear for some time that Donald Trump is gunning to destroy the US Postal Service. As with so many of his obsessions, it is hard to find a rational basis for them. Among other things he seems to think, against all the evidence, that the USPS gives preferential treatment to Amazon and he is angry because Amazon is owned by Jeff Bezos who also owns the Washington Post that Trump regularly castigates as part of the news network arrayed against him.

He and his fellow Republicans also seem to think that by gutting the USPS, they can hinder mail-in voting and why they want to do this is strange. This push seems to be part of an unshakeable belief by Trump and the Republicans that more people voting is bad for them while fewer people voting is good for them. Hence their attempts to make voting difficult by reducing the number of polling stations, reducing voting hours, requiring burdensome measures to prove eligibility, etc. because the people who get discouraged will be mostly Democratic voters.

That may be true for voting in general since older, more affluent voters tend to be more reliable voters, but in the case of mail-in voting there is no evidence for it and a plausible case can be made that Republican voters might be affected more. This is because voting by mail requires advance planning in getting the ballot, filling it in, and returning it, and dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s properly so that it is not invalidated. In general, older, more affluent voters are the ones who take advantage of this option and this is Trump’s demographic.

What is astonishing is that Trump is now openly admitting that his opposition to funding the USPS is because he wants to prevent mail-in voting. The lackey that he has appointed as postmaster general seems to be working from within to sabotage the process by, for example, removing many mail sorting machines that speed up delivery.

Seth Meyers looks ta Trump’s war on the USPS.


  1. says

    I’m at the point where I don’t think this election is going to end well. There are the Republicans openly perverting the democratic process, so what options do the opposing side have when “just vote them out” is no longer an option if Trump wins because of this? Then there is the right-wing who have been primed for years now about “election fraud” and Democrats rigging the process, and they are convinced they are the Silent Majority, so what happens with them if Biden wins?

  2. jrkrideau says

    The destruction of the US Postal Service does serve the big courier services such as Fedex and UPS.

    It probably means the death of a lot of small, boutique, companies that rely on it for delivering products.

    As an aside, these games Trump and his idiots are playing must be infuriating ever other postal service in the world. How to win friends and influence people internationally.

  3. Sam N says

    @2, what it really does, is wreck the ability to send mail and packages at fairly low cost to rural areas. UPS and FedEx both rely on USPS to do final rural delivery.

    This will be a self-defeating strategy in the long-term if Trump truly succeeds. If the USPS goes, urban centers will have cost efficient delivery systems to take their place. It is the ex-urban regions that will pay the highest price.

    Also, since you can drop off mail-in ballots at poll centers without long waits in line, the main concern is that voters will not even receive their ballots. I don’t need to worry so much in Washington for which mail-in voting is most common. I do worry some about various swing states. As Trump himself understands, his rhetoric is actually a problem for him in Florida, where elderly voters that skew to Trump rely more heavily on the mail-in voting than other demographics. It will be interesting to find out just how targeted his lackey is in dismantling the post-office.

  4. jrkrideau says

    The USPS has been dismantling and removing sorting machines from mail plants. This is designed to totally cripple 1st class mail delivery. This doesnot look like something that can be turned around quickly.

  5. says

    @Marcus #6:

    … and post cards. See my reply email from 04:16 UTC (in case my unknown address caused a Spam tagging.)

  6. billseymour says

    “If this were my employer’s opinion, I wouldn’t be allowed to post it.” — Norman Diamond

    From an e-mail that I received at work from Louis DeJoy earlier this afternoon:

    … there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.

    He goes on to list specific orders that he gave and is now recinding; basically, there will be no removal of any equipment nor cutting of workers’ or retail units’ hours. The rest was unsurprising management-speak.

    That pretty much had to happen given how quickly the “initiatives” became viral. Even the mainstream media couldn’t turn it into a both-sides-of-the-issue story.

    I’d like to see some evidence of the “predate my arrival” claim:  I never heard of it (although if it were just some ideas being bandied about among top line managers, I wouldn’t have).

  7. blf says

    @9, Two points (in no particular order): (1) Nothing said about reversing the damage already done; and (2) Don’t confuse “said” or “promised” with “actions” with this lot. A specific list is meaningless with such liars, and I wouldn’t be surprised if such a list is crafted in a manner allowing most / all previous actions and not-prohibiting some / many future actions. Think slippery slimely with added toxic grease and jackbooted stormtroopers lurking…

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