Do Not Even Think of Messing with the Post Office
U.S. Mail. I saw it etched on the stagecoach to Tombstone in an episode of the ancient western, Tombstone Territory, Monday and I smiled. The stage dropped off mail, picked up copies of the Tombstone Epitaph, the star of the newspaper series, and keep moving safely through the wild West. I’ve watched a hundred episodes of this show with the cool theme song without noticing those two words but with all the talk about the United States Postal Service (USPS), it struck me as worthy of note.
As a child, we loved watching the mailbox for the mailman—they were all men back then—to either send mail to our relatives and friends or to retrieve the same. The mailman was our friend, a connection to the outside world, and always a welcomed sight. For at least the past 10 years I have single-handedly been trying to keep the post office in business.
Yes, I know it takes more than writing and mailing checks and shopping for the newest and prettiest stamps, but I am deliberate and here’s why: the post office has offered good paying jobs and vibrant careers for members of my family and others when there were few other options. Secondly, mail service is a bargain any way you slice it—buy Forever stamps and you don’t notice rate hikes and your letters and bills go to the hinterlands for pennies.
Third, no matter the weather outside, the mail carrier is coming. Every blue moon my weekly and daily newspapers all come at the same time but I know they will be a welcome sight when they do arrive. Finally, the U.S. Mail is a dependable and trusted entity in my world, and when you think about it, probably in yours, too. Whether you’re expecting a check, prescriptions, too many bills, mushy notes, or coupons, like the age-old *slogan says, “neither snow nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” That’s a pretty powerful legacy to have and it is the reason the topics of defunding, lack of trust in the system, lost or uncounted ballots, and diminished service or capacity causes me to fret.
I’ve been voting for almost 47 years and I’ve never voted by mail but if that’s an option this fall, I’d do it because COVID-19 still scares me to death. During the August 6th election, the election commission sanitized everything from the pens to the sticks we used to mark our choices. Social distancing was easy since there were no people voting while I was there, however, with the fierce interest in this national election, I can’t count on that scenario again.
The fact that the postal service is such a hot topic now and is so highly politicized spells trouble and we must pay closer attention to the actors and moving parts. Perhaps it was always political, and I didn’t notice but with fewer drop boxes, fewer people working shorter hours, strategies to suppress voting to achieve certain outcomes—we all should be concerned. There are some entities in our society that are sacred and must be protected from foolishness and the political whims of those who exploit, misuse, and abuse them. The USPS tops that list.
The November 3rd elections must be won or lost on their merit, not through manipulation, and deceit. If there’s going to be fraud and deception, please leave my beloved U.S. Mail out of it.
Do you feel that the U.S. postal service is part of our greater story? I am excited to have your thoughts at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!
*According to www.aboutusps.com, “…the Postal Service has no official motto, the popular belief that it does is a tribute to America’s postal workers.”
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