As a retired mail carrier, I attended one of the demonstrations Aug. 22 in support of the United States Postal Service and was heartened by the waves and honking from passing cars. But I think it is important to explain what mail carriers and clerks are going through.

On the first day of training, an instructor explains postal culture to trainees. This set of rules and practices is distilled from the Constitutional mandate that first defined the Postal Service and its duties to its customers: The mail is considered sacred and private; first-class mail is never to be delayed; all customers are to receive the same level of service, regardless of wealth, class, race, religion or ethnicity.

So imagine the anguish of postal employees as they are ordered to do things that are totally opposed to the professional ethic they were taught. Under threat of losing their jobs, they are forced to hold back mail; remove and destroy mail-sorting machines; and hide stacks of delayed mail so that state officials investigating the functioning of the Postal Service won’t see them — just to make mail-in voting difficult and chaotic.

Jeffrey Panciera, Seattle