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The Prevalence of Plagiarism among Politicians and Its Consequences

Jul 3, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jul 3, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Why Politicians Plagiarize So Often

The article focuses on political plagiarism and how most politicians go unpunished for plagiarism. The writer uses Senator Walsh as an example, Walsh was accused to have plagiarized his graduate school papers. Senator Walsh tried hard to defend himself from the plagiarism accusations by first saying that his plagiarism acts were not intentional, secondly, he added that his actions of plagiarism were connected to post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered while in Iraq (Martin1). Members of the public did not believe this reason and Walsh swept the matter under the carpet by asking Americans to look and move ahead, admitting that he made a mistake. More and more politicians get away with the crime due to their status, Barrack Obama has also been accused of plagiarizing governor, Deval Patrick’s words (Osnos 1).
The only politician who has paid for his crime was Joe Biden when he stepped down in 1987 from the presidential race. More and more politicians continue to plagiarize without paying the price for their actions. It is unfortunate to see a good number of politicians getting away with the crime. Non-politicians found to have plagiarized lose their job and careers are destroyed completely (Osnos 1).


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Why do you think politicians are so likely to plagiarize others’ works?

Politicians are so likely to plagiarize because they are in constant competition and all of them want to look good before the public. They, therefore, tend to use other people’s words to please the public. Most of the time the speeches of politicians are written by their staff who is likely to overlook the plagiarism consequence to deliver a perfect speech to their boss. Politicians have to also adhere to the talking points delivered by their committees, this way they are prone to plagiarism. Another reason politicians are prone to plagiarism is due to ghostwriting. Politicians should be advised to write their own speeches to avoid plagiarism.

What does this say to you?

Most of the time, politicians get away with this, since they do not pay attention to plagiarism. Their members of staff need to be well educated and pay for the consequences of their plagiarism actions. Politicians need to also discourage plagiarism by owning up to their actions (Sands 2). A certain degree of honesty needs to be cultivated in the leaders we vote for.

How should voters evaluate candidates who are prone to plagiarizing?

Voters should hold politicians who plagiarize other works accountable for their actions. Plagiarism is a crime against intellectual property and no person would get away with it no matter their social or political status. A politician with a plagiarism scandal is a liar whether the plagiarism actions were intentional or not. Such politicians should be allowed by the voters to sit in the office. They should immediately resign or withdraw from the public office race.

What is the difference in consequences between a candidate and you, the college student?

The consequence for a college factors that affect student outcomes. College student is probably an F in that paper and they are forced to rewrite it. For a writer or a professor, they are likely to lose their jobs if found guilty of plagiarism. For politicians or political candidates, they will most likely get away with the crime or be required to step down or reassign.

Works Cited

Osnos, Evan. “Why Politicians Plagiarize So Often”. The New Yorker. 29, July 2014:1. Print.
Martin, Jonathan. “Senators Thesis Turns Out to Be Remix of Other Works, Uncited”. The New York Times. 23 July 2014: 1. Print
Sands, Crystal. “It’s Complicated: Plagiarism in our culture”. Excelsior Commentary. 7 August, 2014:2.

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