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Congress should work on bipartisanship, as seen in NBA lockout negotiation

By Michael Dickerson, Special to The Chronicle

 

The NBA lockout came to a halt over Thanksgiving weekend after 149 days of painstakingly slow and unproductive meetings that resulted in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which should have been reached in July. Instead of coming together and working to help further progress on the sport they supposedly love, both sides resorted to elementary school tactics that could be summed up in hissy fits on both sides and never ending finger pointing.

            Now read that paragraph again, but replace the word ‘NBA' with ‘Congress,' and ‘Collective Bargaining Agreement' with ‘any act of legislation.' If you listen to the Democrats, they'll tell you that the Republicans' stubborn foolishness clogs up the whole government. But at the same time, Republicans proclaim that the Democrats' wasteful spending is sending the country down the treacherous road to "socialism." Each party blames the other for every single problem in America, no matter how small. This country is seemingly caught in an endless tug-of-war in the midst of crisis that is unprecedented.

We live in a first world nation with a third world level of economic equity and an ever-increasing trade imbalance that is spiraling further and further out of control. During difficult times like this unity and solidarity are the most important and powerful tools at our disposal, yet we are more divided than ever.

            Something has to give as seen in the case with the NBA lockout. Both sides realized that they were causing more harm to the growth of the sport. So the owners and players made certain concessions and reached an agreement. That is how the adult world operates; it's all about give and take. However, members of Congress seem to think that not only can they have their cake and eat it to, but can also buy the bakery, fire the baker and then sell the bakery to China. They need to be welcomed back into reality and as improbable as it sounds, look at the NBA for inspiration. The owners and players will probably never be on the same page, but they can at least recognize when the time for being stubborn ends, and the time for progress begins.

The big winners of the NBA lockout agreement are said to be the fans since they will be getting their beloved sport back. After the start of the new season, NBA fans will have forgotten about the lockout and the stubborn men that didn't care about whether or not the fans would have a season. In turn, the owners and players don't care about how the fans feel, they only care that they but tickets and team merchandise. This same sentiment holds true with the relationship of the government and us citizens. At this point, it is pretty obvious that neither Republicans nor Democrats truly care about the average citizen. All they want is your vote, and after they have that, you become nothing more than a vessel that propaganda can be shoveled into.

While NBA fans can distract themselves with a new basketball season, we as Americans still have to live in overall ignorance and stupidity. All we can do is hope that someone, somewhere will step up help jumpstart America back on track.

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