1. You assume people won't give credit for independent and original ideas, which is false. If people reward independent thought, then there is no added incentive to compromise the integrity of your ideas.
2. You assume that people who are willing to prostitute their ideas are already contributing to this site, which is at least questionable. People who are willing to sacrifice their ideas for status are probably not contributing in any deep way anyway by virtue of their independent thought. (Though they certainly contribute to the culture and connection felt here.)
3. The reputation system didn't suddenly introduce anything new. People who say things to appease others were doing it before the system was implemented, and getting congratulated for it as well; it simply wasn't memorialized. Rest assured that if the Rep System is nixed, they'll still be their fawning, smarmy selves.