Last Sunday, July 24, I had quite a busy day. In the Morning, I went canvassing with MoveOn.org. This was not the traditional “Are you for or against” canvassing that I was used from my work with campaigns, this was “Deep Canvassing”. We were looking for stories on health care and the apparent impending “Repeal and Replace” of the Affordable Care Act. It was challenging, time-consuming and a bit complex. But there were some good stories that my partner and I gathered.
Later that day, I patched my phone into a phone call with MoveOn.org. It was in regards to mobilizing in resistance to “Repeal and Replace”. There was one tidbit from that which stood out. The reason the Affordable Care Act was so high on Trump’s agenda was that he thought it would be easy. This has not proved to be the case; as on Friday the latest effort was defeated in the Senate.
Now there are apparently plans to try another repeal. But I can’t help but thing if the “easy part” has taken this long, what about the harder issues. The budget, the border wall, etc. These are issues that finally may put Trump face-to-face with the “firewall”; a group of progressive Senators who will make getting to 60 votes difficult, if not impossible.
Also the success of repelling repeal may embolden “The Resistance”, who showed tremendous ability to mobilize on the phones, on-line and even on the ground. The image of wheelchair-bound protesters being arrested could be the “Selma Moment” of the opposition to Trump. They may also see momentum on their side, momentum that may lead to efforts to advance a “Medicare For All” alternative to the Affordable Care act.
When Trump got elected, I saw a scenario where Trump realized that Government is not a boardroom, and that it would bring him to fits.
It’s Up To Me?
As Trump realized that repeal of the Affordable Care Act was failing, he did what his response to any affront to him is. He threw a temper tantrum!
The worst of these may have been the speech he gave to the Suffolk County Police Department, where he basically urged officers to engage in police brutality. Now he could realize that much of the resistance to repeal of the Affordable Care Act may come from communities of color, so he’s taking it out on them. It may have to do with more “dog whistling” of his “trailer park caucus”.
To me it’s more evidence that communities of color are under attack from every corner. The only solution may a modern-day variation of the “Community Defense” tactics that the Black Panther’s utilized. I have mentioned this several times to my fellow activists, but the response has been less the impressive.
So perhaps I need to be the one to get the process going, but where to start? Why not start with what I know well, technology.
Perhaps a variation on a Crypto Party, is in order. Introduce people in affected communities to tools like; Mobile Justice PA, Signal, Cell 411, and Orbot. Make them aware of their rights to film officers, etc.
If they see this catch on, perhaps other activists will follow and add their skills to the mix.
At least I’ll have it out of my system.