On Aug. 13, President Donald Trump was interviewed by former journalist Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business and admitted that the United States Postal Service slowdown executed by postmaster Louis DeJoy was an effort to hold mail-in voting for ransom.
“You know, there’s nothing wrong with getting out and voting, you get out and vote. They voted during World War I and World War II, and they should have voter ID because the Democrats scammed the system. But, two of the items are the Post Office and the $3.5 billion for mail-in voting. Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money…That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it. So, you know, sort of a crazy thing. Very interesting.”
Like all authoritarians going back to the pharaohs, Trump wants his subjects to know that they will only have what he allows them to have. So, for most of August, Trump and DeJoy, a fundraiser and bundler for Trump in the 2016 campaign, held hostage Americans’ votes, their social security checks and even life-sustaining medication.
by George Lang, opinion writer for Free Press
But Trump overplayed his hand. By trying to destroy not just our faith in the USPS but beginning to dismantle its operations, Trump was threatening two constitutionally protected institutions: voting and the postal service itself. He was once again putting our country on a collision course with a constitutional crisis.
So, as he started losing the public relations battle and started huckstering for OANN because Fox News was not being sufficiently obsequious, Trump let out an all-caps tweet on Aug. 17: “SAVE THE POST OFFICE!”
The next day, DeJoy officially delayed all USPS operational changes, releasing a statement that no further removals of equipment, workers or mailboxes would take place “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”
Why did all of this happen? Perhaps Trump was really trying to subvert the electoral process by hobbling the constitutionally protected postal service, but there is one other possibility. In a 2018 interview with journalist and The Big Short author Michael Lewis, Trump strategist Steve Bannon revealed the president’s plan for dealing with facts and ideas. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”
What Bannon means is to unleash a never-ending pipeline full of burning feces on America, a cascade of existential threats to democracy, public health and the safety of our children, the economy and anything else one might value. With his tweet to “SAVE THE POST OFFICE!,” the president wanted every dead-ender Trumpist to actually believe that he had saved the post office by decree.
This is not how it works. If Trump decides to, for instance, step on a golden retriever puppy, he is not saving it by moving his wingtip at the last minute. He is simply not committing a threatened atrocity, but I am certain the toadies on Fox and Friends can barely hold in their exuberation over King Trump’s act of mercy.
With the Senate on break, Senator James Lankford hid out in small towns like Buffalo, Oklahoma, visited military facilities and caught softball questions on his favorite country music station in Woodward, K101, which he and Senator Jim Inhofe hang out on the regular. On Aug. 17, he told DJ Sean Kelly that the uproar over the USPS “is a big political game right now to try to make President Trump look bad — that he’s trying to mess with the mail and try to stop the balloting with the mail, when it’s not.”
But that is exactly what Trump said he was doing.
Since both Senators spend most of their breath on supporting Trump and his authoritarian aspirations, it is important for thinking Oklahomans to keep track of every time Lankford or Inhofe prop up Trump’s would-be dictatorship. If Trump loses in November and either of them suddenly run away from his abominable legacy, we must have receipts.
With the zone so thoroughly flooded, we will need those receipts to mop up Trump’s flooded zone.
Sustain our journalism by becoming a supporter
Oklahoma City Free Press is dedicated to providing high quality journalism that positively impacts our community. Click this linkto support our mission.