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Op-ed

2020: The 'Adversity Score' election!

This is not how winners are made

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

America is a meritocracy. That may trouble House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose ability to string words together — let alone lead her own caucus— appears to be unraveling before our very eyes. But it doesn't mean it's any less true.

For that reason, Joe Biden is first in the Democratic race. He has a double-digit lead over all of the other woke intersectionalists, who assumed their skin color, genitalia, or whom they like to sleep with would be sufficient to usher them into the Oval Office. Even the other white guy, Sen. Bernie Sanders is now trailing by quite a few points. Biden is currently principal because he is the most qualified and because he would be the most competitive against President Donald Trump. He would, admittedly, be a formidable opponent in debate (as long as he can refrain from his trademark comments about blacks, Indians, and the handicapped.) We're also told he has massive "rust belt" appeal. I'm not sold on it, but I'm happy to let liberals think it.

In terms of experience, Biden served as vice president for eight years. He was a senator for more than 30 years. He was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee. Pete Buttigieg, on the other hand, is a gay mayor from an Indiana town, and photo shoots with his husband won't earn him the presidency any more than mix tapes with Sen. Kamala Harris will, or Sen. Corey Booker's imaginary drug dealer friends will.

Despite what we're teaching this generation, placing high on the intersectionality scale does not make you qualified for anything, and it will only harm those, specifically students who learn from an early age that it does, when they're actually exposed to reality. Telling people being a certain race or gender entitles you to something you did not earn is exactly what leads to this identity-politics driven clown show known as the Democratic primary.

There are, of course, instances where less-than-qualified (at least in the traditional sense) candidates have won elections, due to other compelling factors. Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump are prime examples of that. But it appears Americans wants a serious candidate, not one mired in the Oppression Olympic games. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is one of the few out there consistently putting out substantive plans, but she memed herself into a joke and out of viability by playing "Pocahontas" for so many years.

Now, she's realizing her "adversity" card doesn't actually work in the real world (particularly because it's fake). That game may work in the ivory towers of universities and in a liberal fantasy world. But in the real world, you still have to compete. And Democrats want a candidate who can do that. The overwhelming majority of likely Democratic voters want a nominee who would be a "strong candidate against the current president." You can't do that by just being gay or black or a woman or poor, despite what the College Board, which oversees the SAT, may try to tell you.

The College Board's plan to give an "adversity score" to every student who takes the SAT is wildly dangerous. It's a pseudo-righteous scheme designed to punish white students (and probably Asian students) from good neighborhoods and reward students of color from bad neighborhoods throughout the college admissions process. This is justified, they say, because white students perform on average 177 points higher than black students on the standardized test. And Asian students perform 100 points better than even white students.

It's affirmative action on steroids.

The entire point of the SAT is to be a standardized measure of your ability and serve as a predictor of how you will perform at university and beyond. If that's not good enough for you, colleges already have lengthy applications with transcripts, essays, and interviews to get a holistic sense of who the student is beyond his SAT test scores.

The adversity score will help kids with low SAT scores, whose essay was supposed to save them but didn't. When admissions officers realize after reading the full applications that the kid is still wildly unimpressive despite the essay about his strong single mother who inspired him to be a street drummer, he'll need an additional leg up. And that's where the adversity score comes in. It will undoubtedly help usher in a wave of unqualified and unmotivated students to the nation's top colleges for an education they do not deserve and cannot handle.

And this is precisely the kind of thinking that leads to unqualified people thinking they deserve jobs, and, alas, the United States presidency! In reality, it does far more harm than good.

"Let's say you get into the college," Mark Thiessen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute explained while discussing the new adversity score on Fox News. "If you graduate, which you might not if you're getting in with an adversity score, then when you go to your job, you don't get to turn in [an adversity score]."

"Life is a meritocracy," he correctly added while noting the solution should be a better education.

That has always been the case with affirmative action, the adversity score's diet variety. It's why I've always opposed it. If a poor black teenager with low grades and low test scores gets slapped with an astronomically high adversity score to set him up for failure and gets into Harvard, the root problem is never solved. He's not better off, his community isn't either, and there are no longer any incentive to address the underlying municipal, and more importantly, cultural problems in the predominantly black precincts that cause minorities to perform at such a lower level.

The affirmative action mentality is a Band-Aid solution that allows everyone to ignore fixing the real problem, which are systemic problems in minority communities that prevent them from succeeding no matter what their adversity score is.

Until we fix this growing mentality that the color of your skin entitles you to special assistance in the world without merit, the Joe Bidens and Bernie Sanders of the world (adversity score: 0) will always outperform the Kamala Harrises, Elizabeth Warrens, and Corey Bookers.

One last thing…
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