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Hoo Boy ... DeJoy!

Jim Hightower on

Woe is us (the American people) for having our jewel of a national Postal Service saddled with a corporate-minded postmaster general, Louis DeJoy. Formerly CEO of a private shipping contractor, DeJoy's chief qualification for running this invaluable public service is that he's been a major donor to Republican politicians -- including Donald Trump, who appointed him to the post.

In 2020, the new honcho put forth a 10-year scheme to "save" the people's post office by imposing boilerplate corporate tactics -- downsize staff, cut service and raise prices. He gave his plan a zippy PR slogan: "Delivering for America." But delivering less for more is a hard sell, and people soon started rebelling against absurdly late delivery, closure of local branches, long lines at understaffed postal counters, and relentless price hikes, including another 8% increase this year.

Excuse my bad play on words, but there is no joy in seeing an essential public service needlessly gutted. Millions of us rely on timely mail delivered by the amazing network of public postal workers. Their linking any one ZIP code to all others is a pillar of our democracy, not only servicing the well-off and corporate elites, but crucial to small businesses, rural communities, people getting medicines by mail -- as well as to millions of us wanting to vote by mail this November.

Four years of DeJoy's corporate gimmicks to "improve" our postal service by shriveling it have proven disastrous -- and the harm is spreading. Enough! This is a time when your voice can matter, for a bipartisan outcry is demanding that Congress and/or the postal board of governors step in pronto to terminate DeJoy's political meddling. For information and action go to: TakeOnWallSt.com.

CULTURE WAR STUPIDITY PLUNGES INTO ABSURDITY

Right-wing culture warriors have been relentlessly attacking people's personal liberties -- running hellish crusades to deny our freedom to vote, to read what we want, to form labor unions, to make our own reproductive decisions, etc.

Now, apparently having run out of freedoms to ban, here they come with a twisted attempt to politicize another of our inalienable rights: The pursuit of happiness! They've launched a campaign of psycho-babble, preaching that those who embrace progressive ideas and causes are doomed to a life of perpetual unhappiness. "Don't go there!" they squawk.

 

This babbaloney is even being advanced by such self-proclaimed "serious" conservatives as New York Times pundit Ross Douthat. He recently opined that "The left-wing temperament is, by nature, unhappier than the moderate and conservative alternatives." Yes, Douthat insists that we progressives are hampered by a "refusal of contentment," unlike the joyful serenity enjoyed by right-wingers.

Golly, Ross, how could we have missed the conservative blissfulness inherent in Trump's perpetual glower and nastiness? And that snarling, right-wing gaggle of quacks, prima donnas and haters in Congress sure offers a fine public example of intrinsic conservative conviviality.

But Douthat plunges deeper into his dark rabbit hole, theorizing that "youth unhappiness" increases "the further left you go." Not sure how many progressive youngsters he's actually met, but I've been lucky to meet and work regularly with young champions of environmental justice, union organizing, women's rights, etc. They have continuously lifted my spirits with their optimism, sense of fun and jubilant camaraderie.

And, by the way, young progressives don't need me -- much less an aloof, dour conservative -- speaking for them. They have their own voice and are on the way up -- laughing at the likes of Douthat.

To find out more about Jim Hightower and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

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