Unbelievable: Rand Paul Caught Plagiarizing Science Fiction Movie’s Wikipedia Page While Giving Speech

rand-paul-plagiarismWhen discussing Republicans, I often point out that I believe many of them live in some alternate reality which only seems to exist in a fictional world that they’ve created in their minds.

In the case of Rand Paul, that world seems to be found in a 1997 science fiction movie starring Ethan Hawke and written by Andrew Nicool, titled Gattaca.  Senator Paul used this movie as an example of where he fears we could be headed, but in doing so, seems to have copied excerpts directly from the movie’s Wikipedia page while attempting to explain the plot.

It’s something Rachel Maddow pointed out Monday evening.

While giving a ridiculous speech in Virginia at a “Christian” school where he said that advances in science coupled with abortion rights might possibly lead to eugenics (the process by which undesirable traits in human beings are eliminated through purposeful genetic manipulation), Senator Paul seems to have directly plagiarized Gattaca’s Wikipedia page.

Here’s an excerpt from Paul’s speech:

“In the “not-too-distant-future,” eugenics is common. And DNA plays a primary role in determining your social class.”

And here’s something taken directly from Gattaca’s Wikipedia page:

“In “the not-too-distant future”, liberal eugenics is common and DNA plays the primary role in determining social class.”

Now, I get if you’re trying to describe the plot of a movie that there might be a few similarities on verbiage and of course the subjects used.  Heck, your order of events in how you’re describing a situation might be nearly identical to another person’s.  But it’s extremely rare (if not impossible) for someone to accidentally use the exact same words, in the exact same order, as someone else.  And it wasn’t this one instance — he did it again… and again… and again.


“Due to frequent screenings, Vincent faces genetic discrimination and prejudice. The only way to achieve his dream of being an astronaut is he has to become what’s called a “borrowed ladder.”


“Due to frequent screening, Vincent faces genetic discrimination and prejudice. The only way he can achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut is to become a “borrowed ladder.”


“He assumes the identity of a Jerome Morrow, a world-class swimming star with a genetic profile said to be “secondary to none,” but he’s been paralyzed in a car accident.”


“He assumes the identity of Jerome Eugene Morrow, a former swimming star with a genetic profile “second to none”, who had been injured in a car accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.”


“Jerome buys his identity, uses his DNA — his blood, his hair, his tissue, his urine — to pass the screenings.”


“Vincent “buys” Jerome’s identity and uses his “valid” DNA in blood, hair, tissue, and urine samples to pass screening.”

Seriously, when it gets to this level of plagiarism, there is no way it’s a “coincidence.”

And as BuzzFeed points out, the Wikipedia page had not been changed after Paul’s speech to try to “frame” him or add his words to the description. All of the logs show that the page was up with these contents before Paul’s speech, proving that either he or whoever wrote his speech took directly from it.

I mean, it’s ridiculous enough that the Kentucky Senator used a 16-year-old science fiction film’s plot as some lame attempt to stir up fear while giving a speech.  Then he just compounds his absurdity by plagiarizing the movie’s Wikipedia page.

Is this the level Republicans have now stooped to—plagiarizing the Wikipedia pages of science fiction movies?

It’s sad enough that he was trying to claim that advances in science, coupled with abortion rights, could possibly lead to eugenics.  But to plagiarize a movie’s Wikipedia page as part of your blatant attempt to stir fear in a crowd of people?  That’s really sad.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Paul hasn’t even seen the movie.  I could see someone just telling him about the plot and him viewing that as a great example to perpetuate this asinine claim that somehow science and abortion will lead to eugenics.  Then, without actually watching the movie, he decided to pull his “thoughts” on the plot directly from what he read on Wikipedia.

It’s like I’ve said many times before, “It’s getting sad when too often I can’t tell if a story is real, or if it’s from The Onion.”

And this is a great example of just that.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • RitaArm

    Sorry, there is so much real dirt on this group of politicians that this just isn’t worth mentioning. And I thought plagiarism was the whole purpose of Wikipedia…

  • Dddavid

    He’s not plagiarizing the wiki page, he’s plagiarizing the movie. (The wiki page is quoting the movie.)

  • Pipercat

    Next on the list is: Mars Attacks…

    • gemma liar


  • aloryandaneaglet

    i don’t think that plagiarism is the story here. i could care less. it’s done ALL THE TIME. what’s disturbing is that he’s trying to scare the shit out of people by using the plot of a science fiction movie. we often comment about 1984 and animal farm and such but he goes over the top with talking about DNA and buying peoples identity. he’s using some serious scare tactics.

    • Pipercat

      Spot on. Playing imagined fears, as opposed to, honest concerns.

    • You never know

      It reminds me of the time they read War Of The Worlds on the radio and everybody started freaking out because they thought it was real.

      • gemma liar

        war of the worlds aint real???? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

      • Wayne Bassett

        That’s actually a myth, It never happened it was just the newspapers blowing things out of proportion.

      • sfwmson

        they didn’t just read it aloud. they acted it out with sound effects and all. It was terrifying to many people. Just. Like. Rand Paul.

    • Jo Clark

      Very true. I was actually warned about the coming “chip in my hand” and “mark of the beast” on my local news red-state (Texas) feed yesterday morning, from some woman who clearly isn’t “all there”. These people are so freaking fearful, it would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

  • bailey78

    Just goes to show they don’t have a real thought in their heads. They can only repeat what they are told to say or what they read.

  • eilish99

    I’m sure Rand thought using Gattaca as his source material was safe, since no one at a “Christian” school would EVER have been allowed to watch the movie.

    • gemma liar

      whats a Christian?? ( soon repeated as we get rid of all troublesome religions altogether)


    Paul is a snake oil salesman.
    His ‘open mic’ moment with McConnell
    was very revealing and the fact that
    Mitch told him he was all mic’d up and

    Paul continued to expose the GOP talking
    points (lies), shows he’s not too bright

  • Alan Williams

    Seriously…of all the things you have available to “jounalize” about…you are going to write a piece that centers around plagiarism accusations? This is politics…not english 101.

    • strayaway

      Rachel Maddow has also been accused of plagiarism. In 2010, Michael Rodgers wrote in the blog “Open Salon” that Rachel Maddow had plagiarized his research.

  • maggie33

    This man lives in fiction world. He’s named after Ayn Rand and he quotes sci fi. How did he ever become a member of Government? Kentucky what are you thinking? Vote Rand Paul out at your earliest opportunity.

    • strayaway

      He was not named after Ayn Rand.

      • maggie33

        Just a coincidence I guess. Nonetheless, I can’t tolerate him.

  • MadameDelphi

    Isn’t Wikipedia part of the Commons & we can use it as we wish? I put things on Wiki, knowing it will be used by other. Seriously, is that all you’ve got? Seems kind of petty to me when there are bigger issues with Rand Paul.

    • Pipercat

      Like that symbiote on his head…

  • woffordguy

    Do you actually think that a major senator like this has time to write his own speeches?

  • F1nn3as

    I doubt Randus Paulius writes his own speeches. Who can tell but his speech writer may also be a Wiki-Editor?! Thing for sure, is that he is fascinated by apocalyptic sci-fi and has difficulty separating it from ‘divine’ prophesy.

  • Nikky

    Paul Rand is an idiot, but it’s not exactly far-fetched to suggest that DNA science + abortion rights = eugenics.

    • Jason

      You don’t need abortion rights for eugenics. DNA science all by itself can do that.

  • Cathryn Sykes

    Hey, Paul, there are these things called “quote marks.” And this little habit called “attribution.” Let’s you repeat someone else’s words….as long as you point out that they are someone else’s words!

  • Anthony J. Mitchell

    When he starts stealing lines from Star Wars, that is when shit gets real.

  • Travis Hamilton

    The GOP has been making fools of themselves with this shutdown and their stupid actions immediately following but fortunately for them, they’re representatives of a citizenry that is even dumber than they are so their foolishness will go unnoticed, and more importantly, unpunished.

  • fd

    for those that already don’t know it, while your DNA may not technically determine your success in life, the parents you have will, so in a way, it already does and will continue to. If you think rich people have a vested interest in seeing more rich people, you are delusional.

  • LJinFLA

    Is Rand confusing the characters, or am I not reading this correctly?


    “Jerome buys his identity, uses his DNA — his blood, his hair, his tissue, his urine — to pass the screenings.”


    “Vincent “buys” Jerome’s identity and uses his “valid” DNA in blood, hair, tissue, and urine samples to pass screening.”

  • Skyhollower

    Gattaca happens to be one of my favorite movies. Yes eugenics is a fact in the movie but In trying to using part of the synopsis of the movie as a scare tactic he completely ignores the point of the movie, you may not be perfect but not being perfect should not keep you from being who you want to be.

  • Angel Rivera

    He didn’t bother to at least change the words around… That takes lazy to a whole new level. However, he has it backwards. Basing the future of a person based on genetics would be a conservative thing since the companies hiring would claim that they are doing it for the best of their companies. I mean, we are accused of being the “bleedin’ heart” liberals that want to take care of the poor and help people in need. A guy being discriminated because of his genetic code would be the next prejudice and I am sure that the NAACP and the ACLU would be so over the space program’s ass that it would take decades for them to get out of court.

  • Mike Williams

    That pretty redhead at the bar…sure is a damn fine example of wimin.

    Or is she a genetically altered monster with a really long tongue?

  • KishinD

    Kinda freakin’ sad when a fifth grader does a better job of hiding their blatant creative theft.