“It’s a helluva day at sea, sir” the Coast Guard spotter said in the movie, Overboard, and that aptly described Monday’s RNC (and Tuesday’s and today’s for that matter but that’s a whole other dish of blog fodder.) The world waited with baited breath – sort of – to see if the current Mrs. Trump would be able to deliver, or fall flat on face. Given that English isn’t her first language, and no one has really heard so much as a peep from her this campaign season, it was anyone’s guess what would happen. Surprisingly, she was articulate, charming, somewhat disarming, and understandable. Then it all went to hell.
Portions of Mrs. Trump’s speech were plagarized from Mrs. Obama’s. If this is news to you, yikes, sorry to be the bearer of this news. Go and catch up. Camp Trump spent far too much time not only denying the obvious, but Mrs. Trump tried to also make us believe she wrote most of it herself. All of this was bad enough, but hey, it’s Camp Trump…do any of us really expect anything different? Then along came Newt.
Yep, old Newt Gingrich, potential VP choice, and ‘presidential wanna be has been’. Remember him? Repirmanded by the House in 1998 for an ethics violation, and other questionable dealings over time. Good old Newt opened his mouth and this came out:
“Who cares? Who cares?” Gingrich told CNN’s Jamie Gangel. “The fact is Melania gave a good speech. She is stunningly attractive. She is stunningly articulate. Most of the people criticizing her can’t speak five languages. She’s a bright person.”
Who cares, Mr. Gingrich? Well, let me tell you who. Everyone who is affiliated in any way with education does. From the first paper you write in High School, through your last one in Graduate School, students are taught that plagarism is wrong. At my alma mater, Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN the student handbook states:
Allegations of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty are also subject to investigation and additional conduct sanctions under the Student Conduct Code Policy #1020 and Procedure #112.
Not impressed by my little school? Maybe something a little more prestigous is needed. From Harvard:
Students who, for whatever reason, submit work either not their own or without clear attribution to its sources will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including requirement to withdraw from the College.
From Yale University:
Plagiarizers suffer serious consequences in Yale College—including suspension or expulsion from school
And from the Purdue Online Writing Lab
A charge of plagiarism can have severe consequences, including expulsion from a university or loss of a job, not to mention a writer’s loss of credibility and professional standing.
Who cares, Mr. Gingrich? I do. I worked damned hard to earn my Master’s degree, taking one class at a time, working full time while doing it, not incurring any debt, and completing all of my coursework as assigned to me. With my skills, capability, time, energy and research. I didn’t ‘borrow’ from anyone, I didn’t use anyone else’s words inappropriately. If I quoted them in any papers, I also cited them appropriately and fairly. None of my papers were marked down for failure to cite something.
Who cares? All of us should, every single one of us that’s ever written a poem, a short story, started a novel, taken a photograph, hummed an original tune, sketched a picture. Plagarism is about the loss of your intellectual property. No one has the right to claim your creativity as their own. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Gingrich has written or co-authored 27 books. As an author, shouldn’t he also care about plagarism? I find it incredibly difficult to believe he doesn’t, but maybe it does that mean I can take passages from his books, and change a word or two, and now it really isn’t plagarism, and use it in something I craft, because really, who cares? I mean, isn’t that what he just said?
Honestly, I resent his cavalier dismissal of the plagarism of Mrs. Obama’s speech as if it doesn’t matter. It does matter. This stupid, backbiting bullshit being slung about during the campaign season so far proves only one thing: No one has the grace or character needed. Not one, but then five-year olds generally don’t.