Full Disclosure: I take very personally Donald Trump’s attempt to deprive Americans of their right to vote by mail. If Trump is successful, like millions of Americans during this Pandemic, I will be effectively completely deprived of my right to vote.
I am a senior citizen, age 70, with pre-existing conditions of adult diabetes and atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). Thanks to the outstanding doctors at Mount Sinai in Manhattan, and to the dismay of my critics, I continue to be in good health, thank God.
During the Covid Pandemic, however, these two preexisting health conditions significantly lower my resistance to the Covid. If I contract the virus, my life will likely be over within a week. That will bring joy to the army of illiterate, ignorant, racist, fascistic, anti-intellectual, Trumpist Steinberg haters who defame me on the Internet but unwittingly succeed in boosting the number of my readers to historic highs! Sorry to disappoint them, but my family and many friends would not be happy with my demise!
So under the advice and direction of my Mount Sinai doctors, I have been in a state of self-quarantine since late March. I do not leave my apartment for any reason other than to go to the mailbox or take out the garbage. At those times, I wear a mask, face shield, eye goggles, and gloves. Thankfully, I can communicate with my family and even do politically televised talk shows through the miracles of FaceTime and Zoom.
There is one thing I cannot do, namely show up at the polls and vote. Accordingly, my right to vote by mail is a lifesaver of which Donald Trump intends to deprive me. And I am hardly alone in my need to vote-by-mail during the Covid period.
Recent polls have brought home to the Trump campaign the news that his chances of victory are being reduced to two: Slim and none. There is no poll with an A-plus rating from Nate Silver that shows Trump within ten points of Joe Biden. Both recently published A-plus rated polls, the Monmouth Poll and the Marist Poll show Biden with a double-digit lead.
The prime reason for the continuing anti-Trump deficit is his criminally negligent failure to provide competent national leadership in dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic. The large margin Joe Biden maintains among American voters of color, enhanced by his selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate, is fatal to Trump’s hopes of overtaking Biden.
Accordingly, Trump is attempting to destroy the US Postal Service in a last-ditch vain attempt to prevent Americans of color from voting in this election.
As the renowned anti-Trumper and former Republican consultant Stuart Stevens explains in his fine new tome, It Was All a Lie -How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump, the deprivation of the right to vote by mail and early voting options constitutes one of the three leading Trumpist Republican tools of racist voter suppression. The other two are stringent voter ID laws and reduction in the number of accessible voting places.
The claim of Donald Trump regarding the corruptibility of vote-by-mail (VBM) is totally bogus. The recent allegations of voter fraud in Paterson prove beyond any reasonable doubt that attempted VBM fraud is both easily detectable and totally and rapidly accountable. In short, VBM is the LEAST corruptible methodology of voting.
Yet there is another clear and present danger that Donald Trump’s attempted destruction of the U.S. Postal Service poses to an element of our population of which I am also a member.
I am a proud veteran who served as an officer of the United States Navy. Donald Trump, in the words of my late, dearly beloved literary hero, Pete Hamill was a physical and moral coward who used a bogus excuse of bone spurs to avoid military service.
In destroying the US Postal Service in his effort to suppress the African-American vote, Donald Trump is also jeopardizing the very lives of tens of thousands of our veterans who rely on timely delivery by mail of their prescriptions to stay alive.
It is clear, however, that in recklessly endangering the lives of our veterans, Donald Trump is more than just a fascist, as I have described him in my previous columns. He is also a gangster: a person with unconscionable disregard for the rule of law and a willingness to place at risk the lives of thousands of our veterans in the course of seeking to achieve his corrupt political goals.
It is frightening to Americans that we have a president who will endanger human life, deprive Americans of color of their right to vote, disregard the rule of law, and stop at nothing to achieve reelection. Fortunately, there is a Streetfighting Member of the House of Representatives from Paterson, New Jersey, a man of unsurpassed courage who has stepped forward to challenge our Gangster President: Congressman Bill Pascrell.
Last Friday, Pascrell made a criminal referral to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal seeking the empaneling of a state grand jury to look at electoral subversion by Donald Trump, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, and other possible Trump administration officials in their accelerating arson of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
If successful, this will set a model for attorneys general of our states to thwart Trump in his attempt to achieve a massive deprivation of the right of American citizens to vote by mail.
And it appears that other states are now considering action against Trump and DeJoy as well.
Let me say this unequivocally. I have been a friend of Bill Pascrell for nearly thirty years. There is not a person in the US House of Representatives today who can surpass him in terms of goodness, greatness, and courage. And my following personal and governmental story explains my feelings in this regard.
I first met Bill Pascrell in Trenton in 1992, when I was hired to serve as a Senior Policy Advisor on the Assembly Republican Staff, focusing specifically on education issues. At that time, Bill was both the mayor of Paterson and the Democratic Assemblyman representing Paterson. Despite our difference in political parties, we always had a mutually respectful, warm relationship.
Bill was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1996. In 2005, I was appointed Region 2 EPA Regional Administrator by President George W. Bush, for whom I maintain a deep feeling of love, loyalty, and respect.
Within days after I was sworn in, I received a letter from Bill Pascrell. He described himself as being “elated” by my appointment and suggested that we get together as soon as possible to discuss our mutual leading New Jersey environmental priority – the remediation of the Passaic River, one of the most polluted rivers in America. Back then, the letters “EPA” stood for “Environmental Protection Agency.” Today, in this era of Donald Trump, these three letters most accurately mean the “Environmental Polluters Agency.”
I have always had the view that progress on the environment is best achieved when there is bipartisan cooperation. I will always be most proud of the way Bill Pascrell and I worked together on a daily basis to establish the framework for what will be a multi-decade effort to remediate the Passaic River.
In November, 2008, two months before the conclusion of the Bush 43 Administration, I was honored by the Sierra Club of New Jersey with its Award of Appreciation for Outstanding Achievement. The award was given in recognition of various efforts in my administration, principally my role in promoting the cleanup of the Passaic River.
This award has always been a special source of pride for me, especially in view of my high regard for the Sierra Club of New Jersey and its Director, Jeff Tittel, one of our nation’s most effective and dedicated champions of the environment. I also, however, have always recognized that any success I had regarding the Passaic River could not have occurred had I not had a supremely effective bipartisan partner in Bill Pascrell.
At a time when the very continuation of American democracy is threatened by a Gangster Fascistic President, the Streetfighter Congressman from Paterson, Bill Pascrell has stepped forward to protect America from this most mendacious and evil danger in Donald Trump. I am confident that America and Bill Pascrell will win. God Bless America.
Alan Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.