Many years ago, Brave Patriot Stephen Colbert coined the term “wikiality” in praise of Wikipedia’s devotion to the concept of “truthiness,” which is the art of adhering to “facts” that one wishes to be true with repetitive confidence from your gut, rather than adhering to facts that are based on pansy elitist notions of reality-based evidence and, well, actual facts.
Due to Sen. Rand Paul’s brave devotion to truthiness over the last four years, it’s clear that he has that Colbertian concept mastered. But after Rachel Maddow’s discovery on her program last night, I think it’s safe to say that America might soon have its first genuine Wikipedia President:
Yes, it’s pretty embarrassing that Rand Paul chose to directly plagiarize multiple lines of his speech from a Wikipedia page (not to mention using Gattaca as an example of a dystopian future in which the government determines the reproductive choices of women against their will, when his ideal policy is a future in which the government determines the reproductive choices of women against their will). But it could have been much worse. If Rand Paul hadn’t been forced to get rid of his neo-Confederate John Wilkes Booth-loving staffer, the Southern Avenger, he might have accidentally plagiarized the Birth of a Nation Wikipedia page in a speech at some point.
But as Buzzfeed discovered today, this is not the first time that Rand decided to crib his homework from the Wiki Cliff Notes Gods, as he also directly plagiarized even more lines from the Wikipedia page of Stand and Deliver in a speech this summer.
While it’s true that Joe Biden’s career shows that getting caught in an act of plagiarism doesn’t necessarily prohibit you from being elected to the executive branch, it certainly didn’t help Biden in 1988. I will at least give Biden this: It seems far less embarrassing to get caught plagiarizing from world leaders and law journals than Wikipedia pages devoted to Uma Thurman and Edward James Olmos movies.
Instead of copying his homework, perhaps Rand should have just stayed true to the principles of Truthiness and gone with his gut — accurate wikiality plot points, be damned.