They already won but they still cheated

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

It was recently discovered that some rich people were cheating to get their kids into the best colleges. They were getting their kids fake SAT scores and fake sports credentials to get into good schools. This has drawn widespread but not universal condemnation. Some people have tried to excuse or mitigate the parents’ actions (and it appears the kids did not know what their parents were doing) by saying that they only wanted what was best for the children. Well, we all want what’s best for our children. But those folks already had it.

They had already won and they still cheated. They had wealth and prestige and power. They could afford to send their kids to private schools, hire tutors, give them lessons in various things and so on. And the kids didn’t have the burden of working to support the family.

They had, by any reasonable definition, already won. But the parents still cheated.

And if you think that it’s legitimate to commit fraud because you want what is best for your children, then it logically follows that if poor people steal food for their kids, it is not a crime. After all, the parents just want to feed their kids good food, and not pizza and mac and cheese 7 nights a week.

It would also be OK for poor parents to threaten SAT proctors with bodily harm if they didn’t give their kids the answers. And to threaten coaches to let their kids into college.

In fact, I would argue that those things would be more reasonable that what the rich parents did. Because, unlike the rich parents, these parents had not already won.

Mind you, I am not saying the poor parents should be allowed to do this. I’m just saying that while cheating is wrong, regardless of your circumstance, cheating while losing is more understandable than cheating while winning.

The parents who did this should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And, if they are convicted, their sentences ought to be the maximum allowed.

Because they had already won, and they still cheated.