By Perry Busby
“Man, politics ain’t nothing but a big game.” It’s an all too familiar argument people make when justifying their reason for not voting. Each time I hear it, I tell the person I agree with them, then I ask if they know rules and how to play. As you can imagine, it doesn’t take long to realize they don’t.
Politics is very much like the game of chess in that both are a struggle. A battle. Each requires good strategy and skillful tactics as a formula for triumph.
After the November 2020 Election Black voters in Broward surely must have thought they had pulled off the infamous Scandinavian Defense when African Americans won five countywide races (Sheriff, State Attorney, Public Defender, Court Clerk and Supervisor of Elections) to go along with the 35+ judicial and municipality seats held by African Americans.
The Scandinavian Defense, also called the Center-Counter Defense, is a set of opening moves many beginners employ because it puts black in an immediate attacking position. Novice players like it because it requires little knowledge about an opening strategy.
While many praise its use, the Scandinavian Defense does come with one major drawback: if you don’t make the accurate moves you will get blown off the board quick, fast and in a hurry.
Politics and chess also require a keen understanding of your opponent and an even better awareness of yourself. Russian chess grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik said it best: “The way one plays chess always reflects your personality. If something defines your character, then it will also define your way of playing.”
In addition to knowing your opponents and yourself, politics also requires a good understanding of the game pieces (voters) at your disposal. It is why Broward voters are scratching their heads in disbelief after six strategically placed elected pawns surrendered their position to engage in a free-for-all Hunger Games-like contest for two vacant seats.
The race to become Alcee L. Hastings’ first successor in Florida’s 20th Congressional District was so enticing that five pawns—who promised voters only months earlier that they were the best suited for their current role—relented from their positions and gave control to the opponent, Florida governor Ron DeSantis.
Granted, voters will have an opportunity to have a say-so in the matter of who replaces State Senator Perry Thurston (FL-33), and State Representatives Bobby Dubose (FL-94) and Omari Hardy (FL-88) after they all resigned, but keep in mind the winners in the primary election (11/11/2022) and general election (3/8/2022) will reflect, at the most, 12% of eligible voters.
However, in the case of the two County Commission seats left open by the resignations of Barbara Sharief and Dale Holness, and the recently opened Broward School Board seat once held by Dr. Roslind Osgood, who announced she is running for the state senate seat vacated by Thurston, all will have replacements who will be appointed by Governor DeSantis.
All the political gymnastics and clandestine maneuvering that has gone on since April 6, 2021 reminds me of some of those Dwayne Wade and Steph Curry animations in NBA2K22, that turn solid team leaders into freaks of nature with unparalleled skills. It makes for interesting gaming, never good policy. NBA 2K22 is the latest title in the world-renowned, best-selling NBA 2K basketball video game series, where you create your own legacy on the blacktop.
Heading into the upcoming elections in 2022, Broward voters would be wise to consider the words of Savielly Tartakower, the first chess International Grandmaster, “Nobody ever won a chess game by resigning.”
Let me know what you think. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always stay tuned to the Westside Gazette for more information about your vote.