It seems hard to believe this is something we have to talk about, two-and-a-half months away from the 2020 presidential election. But apparently, the congressional Democrats and their media allies have seen fit to whip their audience into a lather over those blue, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mailboxes and the conspiracy theory that the dirty, rotten, possibly downright evil President Donald Trump is trying to interfere with Americans getting their social security checks — and mail-in ballots come November 3.
I decided to check in with as many people as possible, through the magic of social media, on what their recent experience has been interacting with these now-sacred mailboxes, if you listened to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Eric Swalwell, or any of the other Democrats with a media microphone over the weekend.
I asked a simple question on Twitter Sunday night (and was clear that it was an informal sort of poll — completely unscientific, of course):
“Informal poll: when is the last time you placed mail in an official USPS mailbox (e.g. not in your own mailbox)?”
And to underline the fact that I was keeping it light, I included a related hashtag game that was trending:
“Subquestion/hashtag game: Name what *else* #USPScouldAlsoStandFor Unused Somnolent Pace Service”
Informal poll: when is the last time you placed mail in an official USPS mailbox (e.g. not in your own mailbox)? Subquestion/hashtag game: Name what *else* #USPScouldAlsoStandFor Unused Somnolent Pace Service
— Becca Lower (@BeccaJLower) August 17, 2020
I purposely made it an essay question, instead of making a poll with set answers to choose from. It seemed better to hear the voices and unique circumstances people are dealing with. And it turns out that was the right choice.
The replies fell into three distinct categories: the person rarely uses the U.S. Mail; the person has to use the Postal Service’s mailboxes for business or other special reasons; or the person often uses the drop boxes or goes right inside the post office, because there’s easy access to it — or the mailboxes where they live aren’t secure.
Here are a few example to give you an idea of how these shake out. These folks either “go to the post office or find a blue mailbox”:
That’s what my parents do. Mailboxes on the south side of the main post office downtown. pic.twitter.com/2d31Q0faSE
— Unrattled AA7YA🇺🇸 (@AA7YA) August 17, 2020
The outgoing mailbox that is attached to my building does not have a slot that is wide enough for greeting cards. It’ll allow business envelopes, but if I send a birthday card, I need to go to the post office or find a blue mail box.
— MamaBear (@MamaBea26415277) August 17, 2020
Sent Christmas cards.
— BACFA™ Parler/Gab (@BACFA) August 17, 2020
I actually do … there is one by my house
— 𝐇𝐨𝐧𝐤𝐲 𝐓𝐨𝐧𝐤 𝐉𝐞𝐰 (@HonkyTonkJew) August 17, 2020
Took quite a while to understand the question. Never placed mail in “own mailbox”. Never! Always used the official blue box. Odd, but true. 🤓
— hokusai09 (@hokusai09) August 17, 2020
Frequently before the pandemic. My office has a collection box directly in front, and the office mailroom is only for official mail, even if stamped. Could I have sent it from elsewhere, or home? Yes, but it was so convenient.
— Robert Morlan (@rmorlan) August 17, 2020
I’ve only started using USPS mailboxes since I started registering voters.
— the extraordinary nip (Parler: @bulbasars) 🇺🇲 (@venusaursus) August 17, 2020
These people drop their mail in a mailbox… because they actually want it to go out:
Last week. It’s at my grocery store. Mail carrier kept ignoring it on my home box, so I used the store one.
— SourcesSay (@warmingtozero) August 17, 2020
I do occasionally drop mail with checks in a nearby blue USPS box because there is so much theft out of home mail boxes where I live.
— Mark Harrison (@meh130) August 17, 2020
I have a couple of monthly bills that I’m not able to pay online, so I’d drop them in the USPS drive-through box at the post office. Then they began having a lot of theft at those outdoor boxes, so I started walking into the post office and putting them in the slot.
— Christie007 (@ChristieinSoCal) August 17, 2020
And here are what appeared (to me) to be the largest group of respondents: they don’t use the mail or an USPS mailbox unless they have to:
The only mailboxes I’m aware of in our small town are AT the P.O. We use them infrequently for after-hours mailing.
— Snarky McSnarkface (@JaneBond462) August 17, 2020
Last week. Really. Still have to mail my HOA payment every month. Antiquated BS management company. 🙄
— CM Phoenix (@CMPhoenix2) August 17, 2020
Any time I actually want something to get there. My carrier has not inspired confidence.
So probably tax forms back in April. Because who uses the mail for anything?!
— Charles DeGlopper (@bronzebarbarian) August 17, 2020
Literally saw them being unbolted from the sidewalk & thrown into USPS flatbed about 20 years ago. Post office drop off ever since.
— Karl (@KarlGrafxguy) August 17, 2020
Almost 2 years ago to renew my passport, I pay all bills online, all set to pay minimum on due date since I travel so much
— Deplorable Petr (@PragueArtist) August 17, 2020
In the infrequent occasion I need to send physical mail I just put it in my outgoing at the house
— Jason (@jstan_7561) August 17, 2020
When we closed on our house, seven years ago.
— Tested Negative for Coronavirus 2x J.G. Petruna (@jgpetruna) August 17, 2020
About twenty one years ago.
— Tony 👨🏻🦯 (@IleosTony) August 17, 2020
I couldn’t decide if this reply was serious or not:
Hmmm….Columbia House application – 8 albums for .01?
— Yukanol Fukov (@Okeeffe06) August 17, 2020
So, there you go. Whatever their experience with the mail, none of the Americans I spoke to are in a panic about being able to access the USPS mailboxes. Hopefully, our members of Congress can settle down about it soon.