Prove Trump’s conspiracy theory right: Use mail-in ballots
United States Postal Service overlooked in $2 trillion stimulus package was not an accident
Update on April 16, 2020: Exactly what I did not want to happen did indeed happen to an Election Judge. On April 1, 2020, a Chicago Election Judge (17th Ward) died from coronavirus 15 days after he worked a South Side polling place on Election Day. Rest in peace to Revall Burke.
Imagine being $11 billion in debt, and a company says they’ll allow you the flexibility to borrow up to $10 billion more from the federal government. If you do so, now you’re $21 billion in debt because debt forgiveness was not even a thought in their minds. Even during emergencies, you’re on your own. That appears to be what’s happening with the United States Postal Service, which was not included in the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.
Donald Trump — who African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians all voted in much larger numbers against him ever making it to the White House (74 percent) — is more concerned about whether a Republican can stay in the White House versus protecting mail carriers.
Now we could all argue that the postal service was already in trouble due to the popularity of instant messaging, text messaging, e-mail and other smartphone technology. It happens. The odds of someone receiving a handwritten letter in cursive have dwindled down considerably, although we cannot sleep on the Hallmark customer who is determined to keep the tradition going.
But what stands out in the argument against debt forgiveness for the postal service isn’t that part. It’s what the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) denier in the White House took issue with in an original version of the stimulus package: the GOP is picking an argument with mail-in voting.
According to the man in the White House — who believes his Facebook following and his past of banging models matters as much as the infection rate of 277,205 people in the United States (6,593 who died) and 1,051,635 worldwide — if mail-in voting becomes the norm, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
That’s right. Donald Trump is more concerned about whether a Republican can stay in the White House versus protecting mail carriers, getting essential goods that need to be received by U.S. recipients, and a safe way to vote that helps voters stay in social isolation. Unfortunately, this may not be surprising to the 74 percent of 2016 voters who voted against him: African-American men (82 percent); African-American women (94 percent); Latino men (63 percent); Latino women (69 percent); and other minority groups, including Asians (61 percent). But it should certainly be a wake-up call to his supporters.
You know where else minorities tend to be employed in large numbers? At the post office. But oddly enough, Trump’s decision doesn’t even back up his voter base. White men (62 percent) and white women (52 percent) who voted for Trump in large numbers aren’t even protected under his decision to put voters and mail carriers at financial and health risks. According to Deloitte’s Data USA, of the 330K in the postal service workforce, 67.9 percent of postal service mail carriers are white. Additionally, 193K of the workforce is male. (The second most common race or ethnicity are black — 19.9 percent.)
Considering he is still convinced that voter fraud is a rampant problem — never mind the amount of people who just flat-out refuse to voluntarily vote — he has really convinced himself that people voting from the privacy of their homes will make sure that the GOP will be dismantled. However, according to Business Insider, “evidence about non-voters doesn’t support Trump’s assertion that higher voter turnout would automatically benefit Democrats.”
And while the youth (ages 18 to 29) and people who have not earned a high-school diploma get picked on as being non-voters (some of which is justifiably true), there’s another concern that the Mexico Border Builder is more than likely worried about. Time reports that 5.8 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote in 2020 compared to 5.2 million in 2016. According to Time, “That’s a nearly 2 percentage point increase when accounting for overall population growth.”
It’s not hard to believe that the last thing Trump would want is a bunch of fresh, new voters to have the ability to safely vote from the comfort of their homes — without being more distracted by social isolation, cloth face masks and staying six feet away from the next voter. Somehow though, he keeps overlooking that he’s putting his own MAGA supporters at risk of spreading or being infected by COVID-19 while standing in long lines for in-person voting. Unlike him, COVID-19 discriminates against no one.
As long as this mentality of COVID-19 deniers are the main ones who are willing to show up to the polls, he knows he’ll win. But if state government hands over mail-in ballots to those who were paying attention to Li Wenliang in December 2019, Trump knows he’s at a disadvantage. And if you, the voter, are already pondering about why the rest of the United States doesn’t run their election seasons as mail-in only states the way Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah already have been doing, Trump already thinks you’re the kind of “crazy” voters he described on “Fox & Friends.”
While there are limited options for those who are now unemployed, underemployed or desperately seeking employment with essential retailers who are hiring in droves after COVID-19 hit the U.S., there is one $0.00 thing that all voters can do when it comes to their election seasons. Try as best as you possibly can to participate in mail-in voting during your primary election season and/or during Election Day 2020. If ever there was a time to not ignore your right to vote and to stay safe in social isolation, this is it. And if you ignore another election season altogether and believe “it doesn’t do anything,” understand that you will be a part of the problem if Trump is re-elected. If you’ve got time (and money) to binge-watch “Tiger King” or Instagram Battles with songwriters and producers, you’ve definitely got time to fill in a few circles on a ballot!
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