Exhibit 2: Anne Sorock has a video of young Obama voters in Wisconsin opining that their guy should had been allowed to use a ‘prompter during the presidential debates. In the meantime, other Obama supporters appear to wholeheartedly believe that use of any pre-recorded material is against the rules, hence the Romney hanky conspiracy . And don’t forget that two and a half years prior to the debate Sarah Palin was thoroughly ridiculed for crib notes she had on her hand when she delivered a speech to a Tea Party convention. Of course, all high-minded people know that Palin is dim whereas Barack, even if he cheats, is still so very enlightened. In fact, he’s so intelligent it doesn’t even matter if he cheats because we already know that he’s wholly superior to us mortals, and he should be allowed to do what he wants because his intellect is not in question. Why can’t we just make it easier on him, cancel the debates and declare our Dear Leader the winner?
This is not the country that was shocked by the Watergate.
Exhibit 3: Read the Acculturated essay on The Culture of Cheating on US campuses. I dabbled in TA’ing a decade ago, and can attest that yes, cheating was pretty widespread. Granted, a lot of it was among Asian students many of whom come from cultures that do not have the concept of plagiarism. And granted that it wasn’t nearly as commonplace as what I remember happening in my Soviet high school, or what my big sister did in college. However, cheating less than the Soviets is not much of an accomplishment.
Cheating on Communist Party History was though of as a righteous deed — and it was, to think of it. But this is America, and students are not fed propa… never mind. Well, at least it’s not obvious eye-rolling propaganda, and alternative sources of information do exists, and if an American student dares to express his opinion, this opinion will not be recorded in his file and passed on to potential employers.
I’m not suggesting that American students don’t feel silenced at all, or that they don’t know that their professors encourage politically correct thought. The kind of atmosphere that discourages free exchange of ideas might also be encouraging plagiarism because if a student can’t write an essay he wishes to write, he will be borrowing other people’s thoughts and ideas to complete his assignments. And as long as he does that, he might as well go ahead and borrow the actual words. Yeah, I know, I’m jumping to conclusions here, and there is a gazillion of other factors like the cut and paste internet culture.
To continue on my slippery slope, if it’s OK for a student to cheat in the classroom, then it’s even more justifiable to stuff the ballot box because the stakes are so high, and we, the enlightened ones who’ve been through universities, know what’s best for the country. Miss Caballero is really a hero, and it’s just too bad she lost her OFA job. So unfair. Were she caught cheating in college, she’d get a strongly worded warning.
When we came to the US twenty years ago, my uncle gave us kids a lecture on how in America you have to be honest, and don’t even try to pull your Soviet crap in schools here. And in any event, you are going to school to prepare yourself for the workforce, and in this country you only get a job if you deserve it. I don’t know if all college age Russians had to endure this sort of talk, but I never caught a Russian [Jewish, non-foreign exchange most of them] student cheating. Maybe they are just too good to be caught, or I just didn’t have very many of them. Meanwhile elections are stolen in Russia, and transparently so, and Russian universities where degrees are bought and sold and plagiarism is ubiquitous don’t rank very high.