‘Bad things,’ smart choices

How Trump's "Bad things" comment was fear mongering and voter suppression all in one fell swoop

Trump
If you can’t see that Donald Trump’s ‘Bad things happen in Philadelphia’ comment was to dissuade you from voting in the upcoming election, we hope this piece provides a bit of insight into his thinly veiled words and rhetoric. | PW file illustration

I’m writing this less than 24 hours removed from one of the biggest debacles in American politics and a week removed from the social media firestorm of an announcement that PW plans a shift to a conservative viewpoint – which led me to effectively resign as editor-in-chief of this publication. 

It hasn’t been a good week. In fact, it’s been a pretty shitty one. As I await a decision from our publisher-owner if a move to conservative is, in fact, happening, juxtaposed with head-scratching confusion on how someone like Donald Trump could hold the highest office in the land is more draining than ever. 

Oh, and on Monday my car was broken into and ransacked. I had mistakenly left 88 cents from my change at the grocer laying visible in the center console and apparently that qualified me to get disrespected and have my car tossed. 

But back to Trump and his comment over voting. 

Only until this week did Philadelphia have a clear head on how much of the voting process it was willing to divulge and how it was going to work beyond showing up at the polls. I know this because I spoke to someone at the Board of Elections last week as I had my own questions about voting in Philadelphia, the status of my mail-in ballot and why it’s taking so long. I also know this because the city praised itself earlier this week with the announcement that it figured out a solution for people reticent to vote by mail and offered seven sites to act as one-stop shops for everything from registering voters to picking up and casting a mail-in ballot. 

This is the mess The Orange One was referring to and until this week he was right. But after canvassing the site of the Office of the City Commissioners, by all accounts these sites will act as the de facto physical location for those who don’t want to vote in person or have questions on how to register before the Oct. 19 deadline

It’s a solution. So please, don’t believe Trump’s hype. 

There aren’t bad things happening here when it comes to voting. More like slightly delayed things but that was only because there was, and in part still is, so much confusion over how all of this is going to go down without fail. Watching that debate Tuesday night proved just how good the current commander-in-chief is at masking disinformation, lies – and blatant racism – in a veil of terms, saying and phrases that make you wonder WTF he’s really saying. 

“There aren’t bad things happening here when it comes to voting. More like slightly delayed things but that was only because there was, and in part still is, so much confusion over how all of this is going to go down without fail.”

What do I mean? Look at how the punk-ass Proud Boys are on Cloud Nine after Trump “denounced” white nationalism by effectively telling them to “stand back and stand by.”

If you listen closely you know exactly what he’s saying. 

His “bad things” statement was a ploy to get people to think the system is rigged, ineffective and not one you need to waste your time worrying about. This was to make those undecided and unregistered to stay home because staying put means one less vote that could sway him out of the Oval Office and thrust back into whatever crevice he fell out of.

Whether by mail or in-person, you best believe I’m casting a ballot ahead of or on Nov. 3. I think after last night it proved we have to. I think locally and nationally there needs to be a shakeup and the only way that happens is to get out and cast a ballot. Having your voice heard one way or the other but at least you didn’t stand on the sidelines and watch as others decided the next four years of your life for you. 

I honestly think Trump hated on Philly because with these seven sites we seemingly do have our act together to get information out and to assist people in where to turn to cast their ballot with some sense of security. Does it defeat the purpose of mailing it in? Maybe, but it’s also slightly easier than standing in line six feet apart at the polls during a pandemic. Even though the in-person route does offer a guarantee – unless of course, these digital machines produce hanging chads too. 

Bad things happening in Philadelphia. Bitch, please. You have bad things happening in your own back yard, bruh, stay the hell out of ours. I need to give a shoutout to Councilmember Jamie Gauthier who told Trump to “keep Philadelphia’s name out your mouth.” Putting it in that manner was the most Philly AF way to say, “Donald, you don’t want this smoke.”

  • Kerith Gabriel's Headshot

    Kerith Gabriel is the editor-in-chief at Philadelphia Weekly but somehow hasn’t figured out that means he doesn’t have to write nearly as much. Journalism has been in his blood since his beginnings as a sports writer over a decade ago for the Philadelphia Daily News.