Newly added to the list of things we never thought we'd be doing in this unbrave new world - explaining Nazis are bad, arguing against drinking bleach, washing our hands 764 times a day, trying to remember the meaning of the terms "human decency," "social contract," "full sentence," and all the other bleak items on our collective "2020 dystopian hellscape Bingo Card" - comes defending the post office, and democracy with it, from a tinpot dictator's assaults depraved effort to sabotage mail service so people can't vote against him, which sounds too insane to be true but here we are. Of course the headline act of his scheme has been the appointment of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump minion so wholly unqualified for the job he doesn't seem to know the post office is a public service, not a greedy grifter's profit-hungry fever dream - and who, it turns out, has voted by absentee ballot in every major election since 2004. In just a few months, DeJoy has made so many sketchy and possibly illegal changes, from firing workers to dismantling mailboxes, that experts say the very survival of postal service, and the electoral process during a pandemic, is at risk.
Still, as Democrats prepare to return to D.C. to enact emergency legislation to stop him - go, Katie Porter - Trump dismisses their pushback as a "con game" - pot/kettle - arguing, "I'm just making (the USPS) good...This has been one of the disasters of the world." No, that would be him. In response, progressive groups are planning nationwide protests on Aug. 22, part of what has become a notably broad swath of resistance, from professional sports teams offering their empty stadiums as polling places to the half-million-plus people who within days joined a Save the Post Office hashtag. Amidst stories of closed post offices, scarce stamps, delayed mail, mailboxes mysteriously locked or piled onto trucks, and furious charges the chaos constitutes "the very definition of voter suppression," many have been galvanized; often, people aim their ire at MIA Mitch McConnell, whose blatant inaction and obscene vacations are fast turning his legislative graveyard into "a literal graveyard." "We see you," warns one enraged critic. From another, to those attacking the post office, "My dad was a letter carrier. If you are calling postal workers liars, you’re doing it wrong." Most endearingly, in tribute to Woody Guthrie, are those patriots across this land that's still and all our land, slapping "This Machine Kills Fascists" stickers on neighborhood mailboxes.