Trump’s war on the US Postal Service
Thomas Sloman examines Trump’s recent conflict with the US postal service and claims about the fraudulence of mail-in-voting for the upcoming US election.
November 2020, the year that shall certainly deliver an election of unique properties when uneasy times and divides mark out the territories where political battles shall be waged. But even before the 100-day countdown to polling day was underlined and conventions were held in Covid-friendly auditoriums, an unlikely war was forged by President Trump against the US postal service.
Warning signs from the President appeared in his HBO interview with Jonathan Swan, which stands as one of the worst dialogues with a statesman I’ve ever seen, only a foot ahead of the Nixon interviews with David Frost. Trump warned that the United States postal service (USPS), would be assisting a fraudulently democratic election, and then made the ridiculous claim that mail in voting was ‘a new phenomenon’, when actually it’s been in place since the American civil war. He slumped through the rest of the 45-minute interview making childishly frank comments about how civil rights leader ‘John Lewis’ didn’t go to his inauguration, and so couldn’t envision what his legacy will look like.
He threatened to suspend the November election date as it would only be a fraudulent one
Weeks before this car-crash of an interview he threatened to suspend the November election date as it would only be a fraudulent one, something that was quickly dismissed by congress. But the best laid plans of mice and (some) men are always open to backfiring if they get too cocky. Executive vice president of USPS ‘Tom Marshall’ sent letters in July to top election officials concerning the efficiency of the postal service in election season, letters which when brought to the public eye’s attention resulted in Pennsylvania officials asking the supreme court to order a three day extra grace period, (they had previously been defending state rules that ballots be accepted only on election day).
No-one is suggesting mail voting fraud doesn’t exist in a modern democratic society, but the numbers don’t equate to mass fraud nor a threat to his presidency. Earlier this year, the Heritage foundation reported less than 1500 cases of fraud in the US. What Trump’s own rhetoric suggests is a Democrat plan to use the postal service in scamming the electorate from an honest election, something which he has fundamentally admitted to himself when this week he opposed extra funding to the USPS and election security grants so people will have no choice but to get out and physically vote. Putting health as a secondary concern for the state is nothing new. In March, Emmanuel Macron encouraged voters to cast their ballot during the pandemic, days before a nation-wide lockdown. A lack-lustred political exercise as his party lost their majority when a number of detractors left to form their own party.
Putting health as a secondary concern for the state is nothing new.
The possibility of the American government subverting its own democracy has been a chief concern since Watergate for the electorate. But today there are too many forces opposing what Trump is trying to make a public war against anyone who opposes him. This time it’s going to take more than a war against institutions and (disproven) Russian collusion to keep him in office.