Thursday, April 30, 2020

Why Trump wants to kill the Post Office

The lead this morning is from Scriber subscriber Steve Gilbert who offers some thoughts about why Trump wants to kill the US Post Office.

I was reading this morning how in Ohio, since they postponed the primary election in March, they still are not able to hold a safe, in person election.  Instead they have turned to a total vote-by-mail  election.  Voters send in applications, receive ballots and submit completed ballots all by U.S. Mail.

Switch now to Trump refusing to approve any money for bailing the post office out of Covid 19 shortfalls as well as his general expressed disdain for it.    He says he faults the post office for not charging Jeff Bezo’s company(Amazon) enough for package delivery.  I have wondered why Trump is so determined to kill off the post office.  It can’t be just Bezos and it can’t be that he is concerned that the post office burns up cash–he doesn’t care about other inefficient government programs.

Just imagine if the post office goes away, it will be very, very difficult for anyone to vote without actually going to a physical polling place, greatly increasing Republican chances.  Obviously, this concept is much too complex for Trump to have thought of it, but someone did and he is running with it.  Watch as this unfolds over the next few months.

Of the alternatives Steve considered, the last is the one supported by Trump’s own words (now a matter of public record). For example, earlier this month Business Insider reported Trump baselessly claimed that expanding voting access would lead to a Republican never being elected in America again.

In a Monday morning interview on “Fox & Friends,” President Donald Trump explicitly said that congressional Republicans opposed expanding voting access in the coronavirus stimulus package because it would hurt them politically.

The stimulus package presented by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives included several provisions that would require states to expand options for voters to safely cast ballots.

The bill would have mandated that states offer 15 days of early voting prior to every election, allow voters to request an absentee ballot without an excuse, and send a mail-in ballot to every voter in an emergency situation where holding in-person elections would be logistically unfeasible or dangerous.

But Republicans in Congress accused Democrats of using the crisis specifically to pass their own pet projects through Congress. Some, like GOP Congressman Thomas Massie, even argued the expanded voting access measures would be “the end of our Republic as we know it.”

On “Fox & Friends,” Trump went several steps further by directly suggesting that Republicans shot down those measures specifically because they would increase voter turnout and make it harder for the GOP to win elections.

“I will tell you this, when you look at the before and after, the things they had in there were crazy,” Trump said. "They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again, they had things in there about election days, and what you do…and it was totally crazy."

The [New York] Times’ polling of voters in 2018 battleground districts and estimates based on voter file data found that Trump’s approval ratings were nearly the same among voters and non-voters, suggesting that non-voters aren’t necessarily more anti-Trump than those who did cast ballots.

But here is the thing. Even though the evidence suggests otherwise, Trump and his GOPlin followers will continue efforts to suppress voter turnout because deep down, they just believe this truthiness to be true: if all Americans voted “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

If only.

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