Trump’s assault on the Postal Service puts the election in peril

Commentary

Open letter to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: Use your ever-growing fleet of delivery trucks to deliver mail-in ballots to registered voters, pick up the completed ballots and then drop them off at the appropriate election authorities.

(This open letter was sent not only to Jeff Bezos but also to my Congressperson, Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), to Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations and to be ecumenical, my two U.S. Senators, Marco Rubio (R-FL) Rick Scott (R-FL). If you too want a fair and unencumbered election and agree with both my sentiments and my ask of Mr. Bezos, I encourage you to send a copy of this letter to your representatives in Washington as well. )

Dear Mr. Bezos,

President Donald Trump’s assault on the Postal Service is putting the 2020 election in peril.

Trump is doing whatever he can to reduce the efficacy and efficiency of the United States Postal Service with one singular goal: to depress the number of mail-in ballots in the upcoming election; mail-in ballots that now, more than ever in our history due to the pandemic, are critical to a fair election in which every individual has the right to make his or her voice heard.

The appointment of Louis DeJoy as Postmaster General, despite concerns about his conflicts of interest and despite the fact that he is the first Postmaster General in two decades without prior experience in the USPS, is wreaking havoc on the Postal Service.

DeJoy has banned overtime and extra trips to deliver mail, to, he claims, reduce costs. The effect of these measures will result in slowing of the mail service, including, and most egregiously, mail-in ballots

In early August, DeJoy announced the reassignment or displacement of 23 senior USPS officials, including the two top executives overseeing day-to-day operations on the premise that he was trying to breathe new life into a “broken business model.” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, who chairs the House committee that oversees the post office, someone, given his position, has expert knowledge of the USPS, said the reorganization was “deliberate sabotage”.

On top of this sabotage from within, President Trump is attempting to upend the post office from the outside by reducing federal funding of the USPS:

“They want 25 billion dollars—billion—for the Post Office,” the president said on Fox BusinessNetwork. “Now they need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”

As John Nichols writes in The Nation:

“The USPS actually needs $75 billion to address current challenges posed by the pandemic and longer-term challenges created by a congressional mandate that the Postal Service fund pension costs decades into the future. But Trump is blocking even a down payment on that funding because, as he says, without those funds ‘that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.’”

Nichols continues his article with a statement from Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter, a Republican and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission:

“Trump’s brazen abuse of the post office to try and win an election is a shameful misuse of presidential power. Defunding the Postal Service and slowing its ability to deliver mail ballots to Americans will hurt Democratic and Republican voters alike. Congress needs to stand up to President Trump’s attempt to make it harder for Americans to vote, and take action now to ensure that the Postal Service can perform at an optimal level, especially during the pandemic when vote-by-mail and absentee voting requests are at an all-time high. Lawmakers must work urgently to come to an agreement that will provide adequate funding for the Postal Service so that we have a successful election in November. Our democracy depends on it.”

Although Mr. Potter is correct that Congress needs to standup, you know as well as I, it will not and cannot given it’s current divisiveness.

And that’s where you come in. You run a company that can get an order from a distribution center to a front doorstep in one day, or less. Can you replicate that kind of efficiency with mail-in ballots? I believe you can.

So, here’s the ask: Use your ever-growing fleet of delivery trucks to deliver mail-in ballots to registered voters, pick up the completed ballots and then drop them off at the appropriate election authorities.

In doing this, you will be delivering more than just packages; you will be delivering to Americans their most sacred American right – the right to vote and then, to have that vote count.

This is not a Democratic issue. This is not a Republican issue. It is not a right or left issue. This is an issue that, if not addressed and solved, goes to the heart of the great American experiment in democracy. Without the help of people like you, I fear that experiment is in danger of ending ignominiously.

Mr. Bezos, this is perhaps the most consequential election that any of us have ever experienced. I believe, without hyperbole, that the future of the country is on the line. That future cannot be allowed to be determined by cheating, dirty tricks and corrupt practices. I urge you to act on this proposal…or even, develop a better one, if you have one. But remember, time is of the essence. If Congress can’t and won’t act, “we the people” must act. You are one of those “we the people,” but unlike most of us, one with the stature, knowledge and infrastructure to actually make something happen.

Finally, if you believe it will help, you might want to engage your partners and sometime competitors, UPS and FedEx in this effort.

Thank you for listening. I look forward to your next steps.

Yours truly,

Ted Block

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

4 thoughts on “Trump’s assault on the Postal Service puts the election in peril

  1. Great Ted,

    I’ve thought for some time now, that NGOs, of one kind or another, were likely to be the ones who ‘saved’ us…but never conceived that it might be Amazon, and in this way. As Bucky Fuller said: “Only the impossible happens.”

    Seeing the USPS as a “broken business model” makes the same mistake that many of those who thought we should have a ‘business person’ as President have done: First of all, the country IS NOT a business! It’s a society of people, made up of many ‘stripes and shapes’, who are counting on the government to take care of our basic needs (e.g. health, safety, defense, and more)..and WE PAY for the privilege of letting it do that for us.

    What if we were to run The Defense Department that way…uh…oh, wait a sec, we are!

    And anyway, if we were to want/have a business person guide the nation, how about a successful one, who doesn’t stiff and sue people, and go bankrupt just to make a buck.

    A 2006 Bush Administration law required The USPS to ‘pre-fund health benefits’ rather than ‘fund as you go’, like virtually all government departments / agencies and private companies do. That put the Postal Service at a fiscal disadvantage, and let the republicans use it as a piggy bank. A bill passed The House this February to change that…and I don’t think it has gone anywhere in The Senate….well duh!

    And BTW, can you just imagine what The Brits would do if ANYONE tried this kind of stunt with The Royal Mail…and of course, they (even Boris) just wouldn’t do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve received some pushback on this idea from readers, particularly in my Daily Kos post…it’s illegal, blah, blah, blah. But here’s the deal…as I wrote in my cover to my Congresswoman, desperate times call for desperate actions. I’m coming up with ideas. All I ask of you Madame Congresswomen, is to do the same. And, while you’re at it, get me a staffer or two to help me flesh my primer/presentation/Zoom seminar on how to properly fill out and submit a mail-in ballot. Needless to say, with all the old Jews down here, lots of ballots for next week’s primary, I’m told, are being tossed due to errors. Too late for the primary, not too late for the election.

      I’m hoping one of Bezos’ minions will respond. We’ll see.

      But, at this point in our lives, Charles, my boy — if not us, who?

      Like

  2. Teddy,” me lad,

    “If not us, who” indeed.

    Hearing this evening about the post boxes being removed…and then the USPS saying “Oh, sorry…we’ll stop doing that.”

    We all celebrate our victory…but how about those removed boxes? Will they be replaced?…put back where they came from?

    This is the trumpolini strategy…do what they can until you get caught, then say you’ll stop doing it. Then on to the next one…and the same thing again. He gets what he wants, and we think we’ve won. Works perfectly for him…and that’s not to mention the shitcanning of the sorting machines…oh damn, I just mentioned it. 🙂

    Certainly, we need to continue fighting these unlawful and unconstitutional actions…AND…we need to be much more proactive to fight and restore some of the rights and services that are being taken from us. This is a representational democracy, so how about our representatives doing some of the heavy lifting.

    Like

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