I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the crisis at the US Postal Service. I’m outraged. One of my uncles was a lifelong mail carrier, so I’m taking this travesty personally. But we all ought to do so.
The question that keeps me up at night is: What happens to our democracy when the mail system is at risk during a global pandemic?
It is safer to vote from home, by mail, during a pandemic. That’s all there is to it. But if the government cripples the post office, that option is gone.
But this goes beyond just voting. What happens when the medication you depend on, when your social security check, when your paycheck or your unemployment check doesn’t make it to your doorstep — because the sorting equipment at the postal system that serves you is kept idle?
That’s the crisis we are living in right now. And all week, your Senators and your Representatives have been… on vacation. Meanwhile, moms have been waiting by the mailbox for school supplies, medicine, and products for our small businesses, all while speaking out and joining multiple groups to call for something serious to be done.
Speaker Pelosi has just called the House members back to address this crisis. We applaud this.
One thing that has surprised me most during these past months under the COVID pandemic — which threatens to stretch for many, many more months — is how fragile our democracy is. How dependent on “norms,” on the idea that whether we are red or blue, Democrat or Republican, we share some basic values of respect and decency and honesty. We said, “Justice in Every Breath” and we meant it: access to voting ensures this justice.