To the best of my recollection, I never cheated in college. Partially because the seminars I mostly took rarely had exams, and, well, how do you cheat on a paper? (Plagiarism, I suppose, but I've always been filled with too many words to bother stealing from others.) And partially because after a disastrous second semester sophomore year, I vowed never to care about grades again. (Also, only take classes I like, and never take a class that starts before 11 am.)
But I guess I'm also just basically honest.
Still, I have some empathy for the 125 Harvard underclassmen suspected of cheating on an Introduction to Congress exam. I mean, if there's anything we've learned from Congress and its corporate patrons, it's that cheaters prosper. Indeed, we honor them. If anything, these Harvard students—our best and our brightest—learned their lesson too well.
As the Wall Street excesses and subsequent bailouts demonstrated, America is above all a nation of cheaters. So how can we blame our nation's future elite for following the example set by the current?