No super-team in the House
HE speakership race is going the direction of the NBA Golden State Warriors. Apologies to Warriors’ fans for this analogy. But this is what I can explain of what is happening in the House.
The administration coalition can be likened to that super-team that may have secured the crown, but is hard put to keep everyone happy.
Right now, five Congressmen in the coalition want to be the top dog, or top guy in the House. That’s Representatives Alan Peter Cayetano, Martin Romualdez, Lord Allan Velasco, Paolo Duterte and Isidro Ungab.
Now, you can’t play basketball when all five on the court want the ball to shoot. Someone has to give, pass, or screen. But last we heard, not everyone wants to share. The team is still trying to figure out how to make this work.
Perhaps, this scenario is more like a Lakers’ scenario. Sorry this time to Lakers’ fans. Here is a team with great stars, great hype of continuing a dynasty. While they look strong on paper, they don’t have the solid pieces, and not everyone is jumping on board.
Politics here is like playing basketball, or to be specific, a super-team basketball. The way Congressmen and Senators jump to the strongest team, lured by promises of pet projects, pet bills, and deep pockets, they believe in that familiar motto: Strength in numbers, if we’re talking about the same idea of strength.
But this concept of super-team misses the point of basketball, and politics, that this is all about sharing the ball, spotting the open teammate for opportunities, playing for a common goal, and doing it with shared joy.
The super-team lost in the championship last June when its top pieces fell down. Super as they are, they lost to a better team called the Raptors who played selfless solid basketball, who only had one exceptional superstar who acts not like a star, but like a workhorse doing his talking on court.
That’s the team, and the star we should root for, and if we like underdogs, there’s the Makabayan coalition. Leftist as they are, they do their talking on the court.
Even as they endorsed their own, Bayan Muna Rep. Atty. Carlos Zarate, for the Speakership post, they still conducted their business in the House last July 1, filing around 50 bills concerning increase in salaries for teachers, government workers, repealing the tax schemes under TRAIN Law, protecting the environment, giving more services for education and health.
That’s how politics should be. Like basketball, there’s no “I”, just “we” and making plays that matter.* I
VACILLATED quite a bit about staying silent or writing at length about something that’s been on my mind for a while now. I don’t intend to run for office but I don’t really want to alienate myself from the majority. Yes, sadly, the seismic shift in demography has rendered me part of the minority.
But then I thought, I’ve lived most of my life as an outlier so what’s one more outlying opinion, anyway.
When I was growing up, the term “generation gap” was largely used by my parents to describe how their generation and mine vastly differed in views and opinions about almost everything.
My parents belonged to the age classification of Traditionalists (born 1945 and before). I, on the other hand, am a baby boomer (born between 1944 and 1964).
It was very hard then for my parents and I to bridge the continental divide between our thoughts and views. Today, at 55, I see everything with greater clarity.
Having been born at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation, I have always found myself to be somewhat of a cross between Baby Boomers (born between 1944 and 1964) and Generation X (born between 1965 and 1976) in thought and deed.
Suffice it to say that while I am not a beacon of patience, I am a rabid fan of diligence. And while I cannot say that I embrace tradition, I have great respect for the old and enduring museum pieces, including those in human form.
I admit I scoff at the lazy, cocky, restless, selfabsorbed and entitled. I admit I roll my eyes at those who believe they deserve sky-high salaries yet display a galling minimum-wage work ethic. I admit I view with great derision those who readily quit when the going gets tough.
I’m not saying I’m right in viewing with contempt those who do not share my values and work ethic but this is where I’m coming from.
I come from a generation schooled in the values of discipline, dedication and determination. I belong to a generation who adheres to the philosophy of putting in effort, energy and an enduring attitude to achieve one’s goals in life. I come from a generation who believes in paying our dues to arrive at a place worthy of respect.
We don’t look to short-term benefits. We look to long-term rewards. We put security and stability over and above quick advancement and monetary windfalls. We believe in the value of delayed rather than immediate gratification. And perhaps, there lies the great divide.
I strive to understand millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) but I admit they try what little patience I have. We have little in common in the ways and means by which we achieve our goals. This results in conflict. These are the facts.
But let’s not stop here. I believe the time and space for conversation about our contentious divide has arrived.
Don’t hate me just yet. Or hate me more next week.*