Wrecking the post office and the election

From Harlem to Seattle, mail boxes are being removed by orders of Trump’s handpicked postmaster general, Louis DeJoy. Trump is sabotaging the post office in an attempt to steal the 2020 presidential election. 

The mail is being deliberately delayed with processing machines being removed from postal facilities. Postal workers have been told to leave mail behind if delivering it will result in overtime pay. 

The first victims will be seniors and all other persons whose prescription medicines are arriving late. For people with diabetes, the delay in receiving insulin could be fatal. 

To Trump and DeJoy, anyone dying as a result is just “collateral damage.” That’s the lying term used by the Pentagon to justify the deaths of children and other civilians in bombing raids carried out for Big Oil.

Being targeted are the tens of millions of voters who will be mailing in their ballots because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The postal service sent letters to 46 states and Washington, D.C., warning that the mail-in ballots may be delayed and thus not counted. 

DeJoy sent out this threat not only to discourage people from voting by mail but also to cast doubt on the result. It’s part of a White House campaign that’s meant to enable Trump to claim vote fraud if he’s losing the election.

This attempted election tampering is a follow-up to Trump’s June 1 coup attempt. Millions of people were in the streets demanding that Black lives matter!

Trump threatened to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act ― which was enacted to suppress rebellions of enslaved Africans ― to send troops to shoot protesters. 

It’s absurd to claim that the post office can’t handle the mail-in ballots. Last year the postal workers handled 142.6 billion (that’s “billion” with a “b”) pieces of mail. In three weeks, postal workers handle as much as UPS Inc. and FedEx combined handle in a year.

Just the 16.5 billion single pieces of first class mail that were delivered is 110 times the 150 million ballots that will be cast, many of which will be cast in person. 

They sneer at democracy 

Stealing elections in the United States is nothing new. That’s how George W. Bush got to the White House 20 years ago with help from his brother, then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.  

The wealthy and powerful scorn democracy. They find it repulsive that the vote of a homeless person ― or any poor and working person ― should count as much as theirs.

The late oil billionaire H.L. Hunt ― who may have been a co-conspirator in John F. Kennedy’s assassination ― wanted a social order in which the richest could cast the most votes. Hunt even wrote a novel entitled Alpaca describing this monstrosity. 

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page editor Robert L. Bartley justified George W. Bush going to the White House despite winning 543,895 less votes than Al Gore. Bartley did so on the basis that many of the Democratic votes were cast by “union households” and “Blacks.”

The day after this racist rant was published, five U.S. Supreme Court justices selected Bush as president on Dec. 12, 2000. 

The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1870. It mandates that the right to vote can’t be denied “by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.”

The capitalist class never enforced their own constitutional amendment while millions of Black people were denied the vote by Ku Klux Klan terror.

The FBI did nothing when Harriette and Harry T. Moore were bombed in their home on Christmas Day, 1951. They were murdered by the Klan for registering Black voters. 

The 24th Amendment is also a dead letter. Ratified in 1964, this amendment prohibits poll taxes.

Yet the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws requiring voters to have photo identification, which usually costs money. If people have to spend money to vote, isn’t that a poll tax?

If the U.S. were a democracy, people could vote in referendums for free health care, a $20 per hour minimum wage and community control of the police.

After people in Baltimore voted for rent control in a 1979 referendum, a judge threw out the election. 

Why they hate postal workers

The attacks on the post office are not just because of the election. For over 40 years, postal workers have been under assault. Dozens of employees have died of the coronavirus.

Employment has fallen from almost 800,000 workers in 1999 to a half-million last year. Yet the Postal Service is the largest employer of union workers in the U.S.  

These cuts have fallen heaviest on Black workers, who comprise 27 percent of postal employees. The post office is the largest employer of African Americans earning more than $50,000 per year.

Over 40 percent of postal workers are Asian, Black, Indigenous or Latinx. 

Billionaires have never forgiven postal employees for their rebellion, the Great Postal Strike of 1970. President Richard “Watergate” Nixon sent GIs to try to break the strike.

The 200,000 workers who went on a wildcat strike won a victory for all poor and working people.

Postmaster DeJoy is a multimillionaire who bought his position with millions in campaign contributions. As CEO of the New Breed Logistics, he refused to hire members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in a Compton, Calif., facility.

Four women in New Breed’s Memphis warehouse suffered miscarriages in 2014 because supervisors refused their requests for light duty. 

On Aug. 18, DeJoy announced that he’s suspending, but not reversing, any further cutbacks in postal service until after the presidential election. 

This union buster can’t be trusted. The capitalists want to privatize the postal service and break the postal unions.

That disaster would be followed by Social Security being taken over by Wall Street brokerage firms and hedge funds.

The people need to be mobilized to defend the post office and the elections.