Democracy on the line

Ali Velshi recently joined the Citizen to discuss imminent dangers to democracy — and what we citizens can do to keep America safe.


Do Something

Engaged citizens strengthen democracy

One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember to voice your concerns about the issues impacting your community, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses


In CitizenCast

Listen to The Citizen’s podcast version of Velshi’s exploration of the history — and the current state — of the term “gaslight.”


Listen: Ali Velshi on How Trump Gaslit America

The MSNBC host and Citizen Board Member traces the origins of gaslighting — all the way up to Election Day

Listen: Ali Velshi on How Trump Gaslit America

The MSNBC host and Citizen Board Member traces the origins of gaslighting — all the way up to Election Day

Citizen Board Member and MSNBC host Ali Velshi revisits the origin of the term “gaslight” — and links it to the vicious cycle of Donald Trump‘s lies continuing to victimize millions of Americans.

The term goes back to a 1938 play-turned-1944 film (starring Ingrid Bergman and Angela Lansbury, no less) where a villainous musician tries to drive his opera singer spouse mad. He does this by rearranging items in their house and dimming the gas-powered lights throughout — while denying he’s done a thing. The film’s title: Gaslight.

Velshi lays out several examples of the former President’s mistruths, from grossly exaggerating turnout at his inauguration to grossly misrepresenting undocumented Americans as criminals.

“From the moment he convinced millions of Americans to elect him as president to his last stand at the White House on January 6, 2021 — and everything in-between — Donald Trump has convinced of Americans he has a monopoly on the truth,” says Velshi.

The danger of these lies, no matter how bizarre, is what they achieve. Says Velshi, “The ultimate goal of gaslighting is to make the victim completely dependent on the abuser.” Just look at who was on the ballot on Election Day 2022: Promoters in the “big lie” from coast to coast, border to border.

Gaslighting is dangerous when it’s personal. It’s deadly when it’s national.

Listen to Velshi’s message below:



Watch Velshi, on Gaslighting and Donald Trump:




The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil comments. If your post is offensive, not only will we not publish it, we'll laugh at you while hitting delete.

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story

Advertising Terms

We do not accept political ads, issue advocacy ads, ads containing expletives, ads featuring photos of children without documented right of use, ads paid for by PACs, and other content deemed to be partisan or misaligned with our mission. The Philadelphia Citizen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and all affiliate content will be nonpartisan in nature. Advertisements are approved fully at The Citizen's discretion. Advertisements and sponsorships have different tax-deductible eligibility. For questions or clarification on these conditions, please contact Director of Sales & Philanthropy Kristin Long at [email protected] or call (609)-602-0145.