In First World Countries Water, Electricity and Mail Must Flow

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There have been some real life lessons in the past few days. One thing many of us relearned as it seems we have to at least once a year is that things get pretty primitive pretty fast without electricity. America loves to pride herself on how advanced its living standards are. Without electricity, we can become somewhat primitive pretty fast.

One of the marks of a first world country is reliable and affordable electricity. Another mark of a first world country is reliable clean water that comes right into our homes. Clean water in our homes allows us to clean our food, drink many forms of liquid and clean our hands and bodies to keep diseases at bay. This is of course being fully utilized these days.

Reliable, accessible and relatively cheap electricity and water are among attributes of a first world country. The utilities are set up to run systemically outside of the political sphere because they are so fundamental to our way of life. If such utilities were subject to the vagaries of a political system our business and economic systems would be put in greta danger.

Another of the pillars of a first world country is a reliable, accessible and relatively cheap mail system. The mail system was thought to be so important that the framers put it in the constitution:  

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, empowers Congress “To establish Post Offices and Post Roads“. 

Since those early days while the postal service has at times been somewhat of a political football over the decades no one has ever sought to slow the mail. Making sure the mail continues to flow is basic to our society functioning as it should. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” While the Postal Service has no official motto, the popular belief that it does is a tribute to America’s postal workers.

The current president has made it clear he will somewhat dismantle the Post Office and the only reason why is to steal the election:   

Unable to postpone the election he seems poised to lose, Donald Trump has been working to derail the mail-in voting many Americans will rely on to safely cast ballots this fall in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. But while he’s railed against the surge of mail-in ballots in public, falsely claiming it will result in widespread fraud, his efforts to undermine the postal service on which such voting depends have been less explicit, with the cuts his handpicked crony has implemented at the embattled agency framed as cost-cutting measures rather than sabotage.

Speaking to Fox Business on Thursday morning, however, the president made clear what his shenanigans at the USPS are really about—hamstringing the agency so it can’t handle the influx of ballots. “They need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo, referring to funding requests for vote-by-mail and the postal service he and Capitol Hill Republicans have stood against in coronavirus relief negotiations. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

Now we have a president who is deliberately slowing OUR mail service for the only purpose to try to rig the election in his favor. This is a totally new form of voter suppression brought to us by the party that is always thinking up ways to steal election. Voter suppression is one of their favorite methods. 

However, this voter suppression – slowing maybe even stopping the mail will have much longer range impact. A huge amount of commerce is still done through the mail. I don’t know about you, but my utility bills and some tax bills come through the mail. I pay those bills by mail. If the mail is slowed and I end up not paying the bills on time because I did not receive them on time, my utilities could get cut. 

We also get what little we order on the internet through the mail. We have found USPS to be more reliable and cheaper than the competitors. If the mail is slowed, there will be a big hit in the world of commerce. Deliveries could be very late. Billing would be late leading to late payments. Credit ratings could be ruined for no fault of the consumer whose bill never came.

Of course the one that will really be hurt will be the delivery of medications. Insurance companies have pushed hard for most folks to get their medications via the USPS. They could do so because the USPS deliveries were so reliable. When it was time for a refill, it would be there in your mailbox. 

Now Donald Trump has already put a dent in that reliability. He doesn’t care if someone dies or gets violently ill through his decisions. That has been made pretty obvious by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in this country. So if you don’t get you medications and end up in the hospital neither Trump nor his enablers care. You are now just a statistic. 

When I say enablers, I mean Mitch McConnell of course who has blocked any an all legislation that could greatly ease the pain caused by the mishandled pandemic. Think McConnell cares if people get sick or die or lose their credit rating? 

If enough of us call Grassley’s Washington or state offices (numbers here) or Ernst’s offices (numbers here) and let them know that screwing up our mail service is simply not acceptable.

Just came across this summary by Quemodo on democraticunderground of a story on dailykos.com:

According to the Daily Kos, (https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/13/1968935/-Immediate-Remedy-For-USPS-Sabotage): 

Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Colorado, and Utah use 100% vote-by-mail in their elections. These states should go to the Supreme Court in a lawsuit against Trump and DeJoy (postmaster general) so that under the “original Jurisdiction” rules in the constitution the case can be brought directly to the Supreme Court, commencing with a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. 

18 US Code Section 1701 et seq. makes intentional delay or obstruction of the U.S. mail by any person a federal crime.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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