The Leftist Lords of the SAT
By Howard Sachs
There is a relentless attack on our American liberal values. It has been going on for greater than a century, but men and women of the Left have now gained so much influence and power in almost all our institutions that barely a day goes by without a foundation column of our culture being rattled or destroyed.
Yesterday it was telling our children they are no longer boys or girls. Then we learn that the wreck and degradation of socialism is our path to greatness. A few weeks ago it was our protection of life of innocent children with the infanticide bill passed in New York. This week it’s meritocracy again in the crosshairs of the Left. The enlightened, liberal, Western, Judeo-Christian notion that here in America we judge men based on their merit, work product, and productivity — not on factors like blood, soil, ethnicity, wealth, group identity, victimhood, or tribe — is taking heavy fire, this time from our College Board, which is now infected with leftism.
Americans abandoned the regressive, primitive notions of how we judge others — a toxic method now embraced by the Left. We rejected such primitiveness over two centuries ago at our founding. We did so in the words and ideals of our founding documents in order to create a moral, liberal, decent society based on the merit of each individual. The primitive values about merit were the default mode of life for centuries in the Old World. They still abide in legions of broken societies around the world.
To get ahead 500 years ago in medieval Europe required having some blood ties to nobility. Today, if you want medical- or engineering-school admission in South Africa, you better have a lot of pigment in your skin cells. If you want a job in China, your communist social score better be high. Now these throwback illiberal notions are here in America with a vengeance. Just take a look at what the College Board announced last week. One doesn’t know what to fight because anti-Americanism and regression are coming at such a flurry in so many areas.
The men and women of the Left took their terrible values and thrust it into standardized SAT testing for our kids. They said they will create a spreadsheet for each teenager by using 15 non-merit-based parameters. These folks will then give each teenager a life suffering or “life adversity” score. The higher degree of suffering, the more points will be added to the standardized-achievement test scores at the end.
Such regressive values are now rampant in major institutions across America. Our admissions, hiring, and contracting offices across America are now filled with men and women of the Left scouring résumés not for merit but for proper bloodlines, genitalia, what people like to do with their genitalia, bank-account levels, victimhood status, and ethnic identity. Judges and justices even at the pinnacle of our legal system unabashedly talk about embracing all this and rejecting American views of merit.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor let us know she judges not really and fully on the merit of any case but conscientiously on her perceived level of adversity the defendant in front of her has faced in life. All of this could not do more to turn America’s liberal, moral, Judeo-Christian value system on its head.
One of the greatest Americans alive — a man who also has very dark skin — is professor Thomas Sowell. Ironically, in his millions of words of writing, speaking, and teaching, he has never considered himself a victim and certainly has never in his 80 or so years demanded extra points for anything but his merit. He is not known by men and women of the Left because men like him, with down-the middle American values (now called conservatives), are essentially banned from public display in our media and on our campuses. He would be appalled at the action of the College Board.
In his great book, The Quest for Cosmic Justice, he describes perfectly this unrelenting leftist attack on meritocracy. It comes from the regressive hubris of man.
This is not new. The builders of Babel in Genesis came to ruin because of such hubris and wretched arrogance. We, who still embrace Americanism, must fight against this throwback ideology — a value system daily trying to undo the American revolution from college to college, from employment office to employment office, from boys’ to girls’ bathrooms, and from sea to shining sea. Otherwise, we will suffer the same fate. We judge people here in America on merit, not skin color, sex, ethnicity, or notions of adversity we think one may have encountered.
Howard Sachs is a husband, father, and private-practice physician. He is faithfully Jewish and, until 10 years ago, by his account, ‘blindly voted Democrat.’ After being introduced to Dennis Prager and Mark Levin, he reconsidered his views in earnest and began to study great conservative thinkers.