All the time.
Why does this feel like we are in some sick game where winner-takes-all and the rest are left destroyed in the competition for control?
The local mayoral and city council elections, the state legislature and governorships, the national elections, everything feels like someone has decided this democracy is a contest with only a few walking away with the grand prize.
Democrats and Republicans have had nauseating debates with the most base of behaviors coming from the boys' in red. The battle of age, gender, and class is racing through liberal, progressive circles that are grappling with the racism they refuse to acknowledge. Have to give it to the Republicans, though, they at least admit they are the party of the old white rich men with the rest as adoring fans hoping for a return on that white currency.
Gamesmanship, over and over, like a bunch of middle school boys trying to flex muscles they don't possess.
Left in the wake are the poor who want to work honorably and decently, without being dredged through society because fate birthed them on one side versus the other.
Women are fighting to maintain control over their body parts that some of would-be-regulators can't even pronounce.
Students, black and rural white, are fighting for the right to an education that will not make them cogs in the industrial wheel.
Seniors, even barely-at-fifty, are trying to make sure this Americanized affair with youth does not leave them pennyless and begging for a drink on the side of the road. They are reeling from a decade of Republican obstruction and destruction from 911 to Bush to blocking everything President Obama proposes. They lost the most in the economic crisis, homes foreclosed, careers lost, student loans for graduate degrees unpaid, and the prospect of thirty more years of the young forever saying the old does not matter anymore.
Why is it all a game?
Water from Michigan bottled and sent to the Middle East for safe drinking while Flint is poisoned.
Radioactive waste seeping into the homes of Bridgeton while overbuilding makes Kirkwood a destination.
Black kids telling other black kids that they "talk white" while they walk around in the new expensive Jordans but can't read on grade level trying to live past racism and hate. White kids in the suburb with the best education available squandering their privilege for a herion needle now considered a health crisis.
There is usually a timeout or halftime break in most athletic games. A series of rules that everyone knows and follows. A sense of fair play and being a good sport. None of that seems like the order of the day.
It is barely March, hot in the Primary season when Americans are pledging allegience to a man and raising the Heil Hitler symbol. There is one month before the local elections and eight months until the general election.
Will the players survive?
Will the ones being played even notice?
Is it like the Gladiators meets The Hunger Games meets The Game of Thornes meets The Price is Right?
When will it end?
Tayé Foster Bradshaw is a writer, poet, consultant, and community teacher in the Kirkwood area. She can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on twitter @lattegriot or Google Plus at