If 2020 wasn’t nuttier than squirrel scat right now, we have a new hot-button issue in the 2020 Presidential election: the United States Postal Service. And it all revolves around mail-in ballots. The Left believes (or at least purports to believe) President Donald Trump is purposely sabotaging the USPS so people can’t submit ballots through the mail. They say it’s because he knows he’ll lose, so he’s trying to curtail mail-in ballots that would be against him.
The Trump Administration has tried pushing back, citing changes that were requested back in 2016, and advising of the dwindling use of mail as justification for the actions taken. Even when the Postmaster General announced it would delay the implementation of changes, the Left wasn’t satisfied because, well, they’re never satisfied.
As you might expect, there’s a bit more to the issue than the Left wants you to know.
What the Left thinks it means – a vital service that needs to be protected from the Trump Administration’s attempts to undercut it
What it really means – an exercise in mismanagement
To give a bit of perspective, we need to figure out exactly what the USPS is. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a federal agency, a private entity, or a hybrid of the two. Sybil had a better grasp on who she was than the USPS does. At any (postal) rate, it’s supposed to be revenue-neutral, which is a fancy term for not running a profit or a deficit. In other words, something the federal government can’t seem to do.
This was made more difficult due to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which required the USPS to change the way it handled health and retirement benefits for its employees. Prior to the law, the USPS used a “pay-as-you-go” method, but after 2006, it was required to fund several decades worth of both upfront. Since then, they ran up the kind of losses that you typically see a drunk oil tycoon in Vegas racking up while playing Keno (partially because of the alcohol, mostly because no one knows how to play Keno).
Since its inception, post offices got closed, sorting machines got decommissioned, and nobody was the wiser. Then, with the 2020 election and the Left’s obsession with ousting Trump, any actions that continued with these trends became controversial and an emergency. Of course, there’s another reason for this reaction from the Left. Earlier this month, the National Association of Letter Carriers endorsed…Joe Biden. I know! I was as shocked as you are!
I’ve written a bit about this in a previous blog post (that I can’t find anymore) as to why mail-in voting may not be that great an idea, and a lot comes down to how far a carrier might go to allow certain votes to get to their final destinations. If you don’t believe me (and I know you Leftists don’t), there have been a number of cases in the past few years where postal carriers have dumped campaign materials from candidates, altering votes, or even let mail go undelivered. Of course, all of this could be explained away, except for the fact the first two circumstances affected Republicans. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but when things seem to break in one way, it’s hard to dismiss it as an oopsie.
On top of that, the federal Election Assistance Commission determined over 28 million mail-in ballots cast were/are unaccounted for between 2012 and 2018. Even if you discount the notion I just floated above, that’s a pretty big chunk of uncounted votes. And when you consider the amount of lost or undelivered mail on top of that, it’s hard to make an argument the USPS is doing a good job. Of course, the Left will still try…
For me, the issue isn’t with the biases or possible ineptitude of the USPS, but rather how it’s being used as a political football to justify the biases and possible ineptitude. The Left didn’t give one tenth of a dang about it during the years they had control of the White House and both houses of Congress. They were too busy passing Obamacare, which made the Hindenburg disaster look like a Zippo lighter turned up too high. Now, when they need the votes to fulfill their 4 year long obsession, they’re coming around and pretending like they care. Granted, politicians do this more frequently than they change their underwear, but it bears noting that even after the initial “I’ll save you, Nell!” gets traction, the first ones to skip town are the politicians and nothing gets done.
But, hey, they got your votes and donations, so…win-win?
This is the part of the weekly Lexicon entry that I try to impart some wisdom and potential solutions to the problem, and it just so happens I have a few suggestions. First, repeal the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act so the USPS can get back to doing what they’re supposed to do: deliver mail to the wrong boxes. Seriously, why should they have to prefund health insurance and retirement benefits when there’s no way to tell how much of either postal employees will need?
At the same time, the USPS has to come down off the fence and clarify whether it wants to be a government or private entity. I’m guessing they’ll want to remain public because it gives them access to more funds and less accountability than being a private entity. Plus, it will postpone the need to modernize, which is another suggestion I would make. Let’s face it, the days of sending a letter to anyone are all but gone, leaving only junk mail and the occasional Publishers Clearing House mailer to deliver. Maybe a package now and then, but not much more than that. It’s time for the USPS to adapt to a new dynamic and learn new ways to fulfill its duties.
And, yes, that means revamped leadership, as well. The reason we’re having these issues is in large part to the fact the USPS hasn’t had solid leadership in place to address the changing environment of the modern day. The most forward-thinking thing they’ve done is create the Forever Stamp, and that’s only marginally better than sliced bread. Fix the leadership, and you’ll fix a lot of the problems.
Finally, and this is a big one, punish those who cannot or will not do their jobs without ideological biases. There is no excuse for a postal worker to infringe upon the rights of voters just because he or she doesn’t like a candidate. If voting by mail is so important, then make this a priority and clean house.
And I’m sure no Leftists would object, right? I mean, this is the issue you’re passionate about, right?