The unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service long has been, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” What does? An American president hellbent on making a mockery of the Constitution and democracy.
Polls indicate that Donald Trump badly trails Joe Biden in this year’s presidential campaign. They’ve put Trump in panic mode.
His bungling response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic crash have turned a great many undecideds to Biden. More, the pandemic has emphasized the need to provide the option of voting by mail to all Americans.
Nothing new here. Voting by mail in the U.S. is common. Trump votes by mail. But our would-be Vladimir Putin condemns “mail fraud” and a “rigged” election. Translation: An election in which all citizens have a vote and so threaten to turn out the incumbent—by a wide margin. Even so, Trump just flip-flopped and “approved” voting by mail in Florida, a state ravaged by the coronavirus. Florida seniors—including Republicans—like voting by mail.
Does that make everything okay? Check out Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. A Trump henchman, he took the position three months ago. NPR’s Brian Naylor reported (5-7-20): “DeJoy has contributed more than $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Fund, and millions more to Republican Party organizations and candidates, according to Federal Election Commission records. He was also in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention.”
DeJoy almost immediately cut overtime and hours for postal workers to reduce the USPS’s multi-billion annual losses. How curious that he did so in the months leading to November’s election. Which imperils mail-in ballots. Counting votes beyond November 3—even if Trump appears to have been soundly defeated—will encourage Trump to negate election results and seek to stay in office. We could face a crisis worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.
Americans must respond. Vote? Of course. Before then? Support candidates—Congressional and state—opposed to Trump. And raise your voice.
Monday, I emailed—through their web sites—several important officials with this message:
Fifty-three years ago today, my buddy 1LT Howie Schnabolk, an Army medevac pilot, was shot down and killed. I write in his memory to urge you to do everything within the powers of your office to maintain every American’s right to vote in this November’s presidential election. This includes making available mail-in ballots to those who wish to use them, and advocating for adequate funding and monitoring the USPS to assure complete and on-time delivery.
As newly commissioned Army officers, Howie and I swore to protect and defend the Constitution. Howie gave his life for it. Please do all you can to uphold Howie’s memory and those of all Americans who died in our wars to protect democracy.
- California Governor Gavin Newsom: gov.ca.gov
- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra: go.xavierbecerra.com/page/s/contact
- U.S. Senator Kamala Harris: harris.senate.gov/contact
- U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein: feinstein.senate.gov
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: schumer.senate.gov
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: pelosi.house.gov
- Representative Jackie Speier: speier.house.gov
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: mcconnell.senate.gov
I’m not Chicken Little crying that the sky is falling. But cracks in our political firmament pose a clear and present danger. The ball’s in our court.
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