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On Aug. 4, President Donald Trump posted an animated meme on Twitter featuring a Time magazine cover in which he wins every presidential election in the foreseeable and unforeseeable future, culminating in “Trump 4EVAH.” Most observers wrote it off as a joke, but the president never jokes.

Trump’s “jokes” are expressions of his greatest desires, which are so malicious and horrifying that his aides are regularly forced to walk them back. In 2017, when he said police should not “be too nice” when ensuring that their heads clear the door on their way into the back seats of squad cars, it was a real knee-slapper.

Opinion

Opinion

by George Lang, opinion writer for Free Press

When he recently posted another meme suggesting his face belonged on Mount Rushmore, that was another big laugh, as was his suggestion at the June 20 Tulsa rally that we cut tests for coronavirus in half so there are half as many positive results. His staffers tried to characterize that as another brilliant one-liner, but then when asked by journalists about his hilarious quip, Trump said, “I don’t kid.”

This should always be the assumption about anything said by the President of the United States, whether it is Trump or anyone else.

Trump craves absolute power and dreams of dynastic rule. Fostering confusion over whether he is joking or expressing his authoritarian dreams keeps journalists, politicians, panicked aides and voters off-balance and frantically guessing what is real and what is just another “joke.”

And a lot can be accomplished when everyone is confused.

So, let us look at what Trump does rather than what he says. If he is taking the actions of a budding autocrat, then let us call him that so that we truly know what is happening to America.

In May 2020, Trump appointed Louis DeJoy as the 75th postmaster general for the United States Postal Service, and he is the first person without any postal experience appointed to that job since Marvin Travis Runyon in the early 1990s. In fact, DeJoy owns millions of dollars worth of stock in United Parcel Service (UPS) and J.B. Hunt trucking, both of which are in direct competition with USPS.

Mr. Fox, this is the hen house you will be guarding.

It should be noted that in 2018, Trump pressured DeJoy’s predecessor, Megan Brennan, to double delivery rates for Amazon, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, a Trump archnemesis and owner of The Washington Post. Brennan resisted Trump’s pressure and, not surprisingly, announced her early retirement in 2019. DeJoy, a longtime Republican fundraiser and a key bundler for Trump, exhibits no compunction over doing Trump’s bidding.

Let’s face it: most people’s eyes glaze over when someone starts talking about USPS. The first postmaster was Benjamin Franklin and it’s been around ever since, faithfully delivering our mail every day except Sunday. It is a Constitutionally provided service that, even in an age of FedEx, Amazon and, yes, UPS and J.B. Hunt, an essential service for both urban and especially rural America.

Currently, DeJoy is taking steps to diminish the USPS’ capacity at a time when Trump is lying every day about supposed dangers of mail-in voting and warning of supposed electoral disruption. The reality is that mail service during a pandemic might be what ensures the progression of American democracy, and so Trump has employed DeJoy to throw wrenches in the works.

DeJoy is yet another enabler making Trump’s authoritarian dreams come true, a multi-millionaire lackey who has taken a $291,000 job in civil service to upend our body politic.

Since DeJoy assumed control of USPS on June 15, customers have complained of lengthy delivery delays, including veterans in rural areas who receive prescription medication through the mail.

Just imagine what will happen if, through DeJoy’s malignant chicanery, the USPS is unable to handle the logistics of ensuring successful mail-in voting. He has spent his entire career overseeing supply chains and logistics. As he throttles our mail service, DeJoy is demonstrating that if someone knows how to handle logistics, they also know how to destroy them.

The next three months will likely be the most consequential of the Trump presidency, and most people cannot take more consequences from this president. Watch and witness over the next 80-plus days as he does literally everything he can to undermine our systems of governance so that nothing can be trusted. Trump wants Americans to believe in nothing so that he might do absolutely anything.

That is no joke.


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