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The sporting world reflects the politics of political competition

Derek Joy

Derek Joy

The sporting world reflects the politics of political competition

By Derek Joy

As the Miami Marlins wind down their season in a battle for the final Wild Card Playoff spot, football has generated a different sporting optimism.

From optimists, to high school, to college, to the National Football League, football season is in full swing.

First, Booker T. Washington, the reigning mythical high school national champions, Central and Norland journeyed to Atlanta, Ga., for out of state competition. All returned victorious, as did Northwestern on a trip to Jacksonville.

Then the University of Miami and Florida International University knocked off much weaker foes.

And wouldn’t you just know? The Miami Dolphins jumped on the bandwagon with an impressive season opening win over the New England Patriots. This really gave fans reason for an optimistic outlook on the season.

Isn’t it interesting how sports competition decides the winner by which team scores the most points. Pure athletic competition combined with the mental ability and composure decides it all – at least on the surface.

Strangely enough, political competition is quite different when it comes to winning an election, in crafting and passing legislation.

The will of the people comes into play. The will being the majority of the votes cast in an election. Yep. That’s what they say, as in theory.

All of that is influenced, or impacted by, the amount of money a candidate raises, how well that candidate gets his message to the voting masses, garners their support and manipulates ethnic involvement.

And, to a point, how well a candidate’s campaign machine is organized to engineer and launch mudslinging salvos. For sure, dirt comes into play.

Yes. It seems that hardly an election cycle progresses without a wealth of dirt being spread around. Guess that’s their idea the equal of sporting competition. The tragedy is that the public thrives off dirt.

So, I am reminded of a recent campaign where the competition was clean, above aboard. Played by the rules.

That’s how Miami Dade Circuit Judge Elect Martin Zilber and Assistant Miami Dade Public Defender Oscar Rodriquez Fonts took their campaigns to the public. There were no attacks on each other’s character or qualifications to hold public office. No mudslinging.

In fact, some wondered how the candidates expected to win with throwing dirt and attacking the opponents. The conduct of their campaigns answered such questions.

Answered the question: Will Hispanic candidates always defeat non-Hispanic candidates in a countywide election? Didn’t happen in this race. Zilber, who is Jewish, edged Rodriquez Fonts, who is Hispanic.

Now, it’s on to the Nov. 6, elections. Ethnic politics are sure to come into play. It won’t be like athletic competition where ethnicity doesn’t determine a winner or loser.

Consequently, the race for the At Large City Council seat in Miami Gardens between incumbent Erhabor Ighodaro and former Councilman Andre Williams holds a dynamic allure.

Ighodaro is a Nigerian American, while Williams, who was defeated by Oliver Gilbert III in a mayoral bid, was born and raised in Miami Gardens.

People are really talking about this match up, looking to see if dirt starts flying or if ethnic politics come into play. Perhaps, the voters should demand a campaign of civility as that employed by Zilber and Rodriguez Fonts.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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