Americans are maintaining a mostly positive view of the job each of eight different high-profile federal departments and agencies is doing, out of 13 such entities measured in a new Gallup poll. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) remains the top-rated agency, with 74% saying it is doing an “excellent” or “good” job. This conforms with its No. 1 status in all prior years Gallup measured it, including 2014, 2017 and 2018.
[Americans] view the USPS as a vital civic institution – one that despite a crisis brought on by massive debts and falling revenue continues to reliably deliver medicine, communications and absentee ballots that allow Americans to vote safely during the coronavirus pandemic. Equally important, the postal service delivers a common bond that has helped shape American society for more than 250 years. Research for my recent book on the postal inspector Anthony Comstock introduced me to the prominent role the postal service played in enabling Americans to conceive of themselves as a singular nation.
Today there are few elements of American life that unite us. We have no national health service, which amid COVID-19 is uniting the United Kingdom in “fellow feeling,” as Queen Elizabeth II described recently.What we do have is the USPS, a constitutionally acknowledged resource that still connects us all. Today it operates 31,322 post offices, as far-flung as Pago Pago in American Samoa and Hinsdale, New Hampshire, the nation’s oldest continuously operating post office. .. Unlike its private sector competitors, the USPS does not depend on profitability, and keeps its promise to reach all Americans, no matter the cost. Half a million postal workers continue to make this equitable service possible, providing binding threads that draw us together in our American version of “fellow feeling.”