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Dem. Representative: Without a 'We' Mentality, U.S. Will 'Fall Apart' Like Paris in Les Miserables

"If you go see Les Misérables, you can see what the country can become if you don’t have equity in the society.”

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash. , gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 10, 2011, to discuss single-payer health care bills in the Senate and House. (Photo: AP)

Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) said on C-SPAN's Washington Journal yesterday that Americans who put the individual before the collective are putting the nation on a path of unrest à la Victor Hugo's Les Misérables.

Responding to a caller's assertion that the current system of government "is not working," the new ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee began by arguing in favor of democracy, which he said has corrected injustices against women, minorities, and homosexuals.

But that does not mean there are not problems, McDermott added.

He explained:

“Now we’re in a very difficult period right now, because we have a lot of people who suddenly think it’s all about ‘me.’  And it isn’t about ‘me.’  It’s about ‘we.’

"If we don’t take care of one another and we say, 'everybody’s on their own,' then it will simply fall apart as a society, become a mob scene as it was in Paris.  If you go see Les Misérables, you can see what the country can become if you don’t have equity in the society.”

Here's video, via C-SPAN (skip to around 48 seconds for relevant remarks):

McDermott seems fond of referencing France when arguing his political points, though it's not always in the context of classic novels.

Saying he would have preferred to see a single-payer healthcare system implemented, McDermott spoke of Normandy last week:

“We’re on the beach, and we got this thing started...To be thrown off the beach and have to go back to England and replan a new one would have been a terrible thing.

“It’s not where I would have chosen to invade if you want to put it in those terms, but we are now on the ground, and we’re gonna take back Paris.”

In case you haven't seen Les Misérables, here's what the representative thinks we're in for if we don't get more of a "we" mentality:

(H/T: National Review)



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