Can Taylor Swift and other #influencers save the USPS?

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Celebrities like Taylor Swift are supporting the USPS. Last week, President Trump brazenly owned up to hobbling the postal service in an effort to prevent universal mail-in voting. Although his administration has worked overtime to quietly sabotage the USPS throughout the pandemic, last week he casually admitted that efforts to hamstring its funding are related to the election.

In addition to governors, senators, and other figures in power passing along responsibility to their constituents, the most recent developments activated a number of celebrity activists over the weekend. Taylor Swift, who’d been previously reticent to condemn Trump in a public setting, was the most notable artist to condemn the coordinated efforts.

“Trump’s calculated dismantling of USPS proves one thing clearly: He is WELL AWARE that we do not want him as our president,” Swift wrote. “He’s chosen to blatantly cheat and put millions of Americans’ lives at risk in an effort to hold on to power.” She took aim at his efforts to suppress the vote, and encouraged fans to request their ballots early.

These tactics are pretty easy and clear to recognize as fascistic in nature, so the celebrities who spoke out ranged far and wide. Tom Hanks, Mark Hamill, Reese Witherspoon, John Legend — you name it. John Oliver was slightly ahead of the curve in May, offering a line of custom stamps to benefit the post office. Even The Postman author David Brin, whose post-apocalyptic novel was adapted into a Kevin Costner-starring bomb in 1997, weighed in on the imperiled post office. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he leans into an extreme doomer outlook, forecasting a feudal state:

"We are in the middle right now of an attempted worldwide oligarchic push to reinstall feudalism, the dismally-failed governance model that dominated 99 percent of societies on six continents for 6,000 years," says Brin. "The Postman, both the movie and the book, talk about how essential it is for us to remember the things that knit us together. Small town America is especially coming to realize that really the post office is the center of town, but will they realize it in time to make a difference? I don’t think Trump cares any more if the Republican party is torched in November. I think chaos is the goal."

The Trump administration has been deliberately meddling in the postal service for much of this year. Since the inexperienced Louis DeJoy was appointed to postmaster general in May, the USPS has slashed overtime for workers, leading to widespread mail delays. Last week, Motherboard reported that more than 500 USPS mail sorting machines have been removed, posing a clear barrier to universal mail-in voting. It will take more than posting to derail these coordinated, vampiric efforts to wreck one of America's most beloved institutions ahead of an election, but it's a fine start.