Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Trump is Targeting Mail-In Ballots in an Effort to Suppress the Vote and Undermine Democracy

Voting by mail is the only safe way to vote during a pandemic, however, U.S. President Donald Trump is using his bully pulpit to do everything he can to ensure these vote don't get counted. This president is forcing people to make the choice between their personal safety and their right to vote. This is a clear political calculation designed to help him win reelection.  Trump's attempt to deprive people of their right to vote by mail is more than just an attempt to suppress the vote, it is a self-serving attack on democracy.  As Michelle Obama said at the 2020 Democratic National Convention "they are doing everything they can to stop us from voting".


Trump is slowing down US postal services (USPS) in what Democrats describe as a bid to delay the receipt of mail-in ballots. The USPS concedes that they may not be able to deliver ballots in time and if the ballots do not show on time they will not be counted. There are also reports of mailboxes being removed altogether. The USPS is known to have removed letter collection boxes in at least four states: New York, Oregon, Montana and Indiana.  Trump explained why he is against mail-in voting saying, if people are allowed to vote by mail, "you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again."  One lawmaker described Trump's interference with the USPS as more serious than Russian interference.

Trump is destroying the USPS the same way he dismantled the EPA and other government agencies and departments.  Trump tapped fossil fuel minion Scott Pruitt to destroy the EPA and in similar fashion he called on a big donor to weaken USPS.  Shortly after Trump named Louis DeJoy to be the new Postmaster General the latter began imposing new rules to slow down mail delivery.  This is not incompetence this is a willful attempt to undermine mail service in the United States and a prequel to privatization. DeJoy is the former CEO of a logistics company who has worked with the USPS. He knows full well what he is doing. What makes this flagrant abuse of power so egregious is the fact his actions subvert democracy and will help a corrupt president in his bid to win reelection.


A sober review of the facts reveal that there are strict measures in place to verify the authenticity of all ballots cast by mail. Despite the evidence Trump falsely claims that voting by mail is rife with fraud and corruption. Trump is the most corrupt president in the history of the republic so his corruption allegations against mail-in voting is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.

As New York governor Andrew Cuomo said during the Democratic National Convention, "Donald Trump did not create division, division created Trump, he only made it worse". Similarly Trump did not invent corruption in politics but his rise to power is a symptom of the corruption in the Republican party. The GOP was already synonymous with corruption long before Trump.  Now they are held hostage by a man who threatens the party that gave him political life.  They have no one to blame but themselves.

They have protected Trump at every turn just as they protect oil and gas companies. The fossil fuel industry is well known for its corruption and disinformation. They buy politicians and political outcomes and recent research reveals that oil barons like Charles Koch are also involved in efforts to undermine and privatize the USPS.


Trump and the GOP are not only corrupt they represent the height of hypocrisy. Their alleged concerns about mail-in voting is a ruse and any improprieties are their own doing. The North Carolina Republican Party sent out absentee ballot request forms with Trump's face on it. The mailer included the following words underneath a photo of a grinning Trump, "Are you going to let the Democrats silence you? Act now to stand with President Trump".

In another overt display of hypocrisy Trump says mail-in ballots are corrupt, unless you are from a state like Florida with a pro-Trump sycophant as governor. This is par for the course for a president that talks out of both sides of his mouth.  Trump's acceptance of absentee ballots and rejection of mail-in ballots is another example of bizarre duplicity (they are essentially the same thing). To add to the flagrant double standard both Trump and his wife Melania have requested mail-in ballots.


Despite the 20,000 lies Trump has told since becoming president, he has succeeded in sewing doubt among Republicans which proves that some will buy his lies no matter how outrageous they may be. However, he is bleeding support from white people who are his core constituency. This includes college educated whites, women and the elderly. Many traditional sources of Republican support have abandoned this president because he is on the wrong side of most of the major issues of the day.

Trump is also out of sync with Americans on the USPS. Although two thirds want additional funding for the USPS, Trump and the Republican controlled Senate have rejected the idea. Trump has made it clear that he opposes USPS funding because he doesn't want to see that funding used for mail-in voting this November.

On August 14th Trump said he wants to block emergency funding for the USPS and state election authorities because he fears voting by mail would threaten his reelection. In an interview with Fox News Business, the President said: "Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots ... But if they don't get those two items (aid to the Postal Service and election assistance for the states) that means you can't have universal mail-in voting..."


Many Republican strategists privately concede that they fear a blue wave. They know they have reason to be concerned about the forthcoming election.  This is the reason why Trump and Republican lawmakers are working to undermine democracy.  They know full well that free and fair elections are a threat to their electoral prospects.

Trump said the only way the Democrats can win is if the election is rigged, the truth is the only way the incumbent can win is if he succeeds in suppressing the vote. Although Trump calls voting by mail a security risk, the real threat to Trump and the GOP is the democratic will of the American people. It is becoming increasingly apparent that this is a desperate attempt to hold on to power.

Democrats Preparing to fight Voter Suppression
Voter Suppression and Resistance to Republican Efforts to Subvert Democracy

No comments: