There’s no greater trick in left-wing academia than the index. Academics lump a bunch of variables under one big umbrella, and in doing so get to obscure their built-in biases. Give it a pleasant name like the Equality Index or the Democracy Index, and let the “experts” run to the nearest news camera to preach how America is falling behind.
These indexes — at least the ones cited by government and corporations — are invariably constructed by progressive organizations pushing a progressive agenda under the guise of neutral science.
For example, the Corporate Equality Index, put out by the left-wing Human Rights Campaign, has very little to do with “equality” as traditionally understood. It doesn’t give higher scores to companies that treat their employees equally, but rather to those that treat them unequally. The best scores are reserved for those companies that give special treatment to LGBT employees, while low scores are used by the media and even financial lenders to bully companies into toeing the progressive line. (RELATED: Liberals Pretend To Be Shocked That ‘They/Them’ Resumes Get Overlooked)
On and on it goes: “freedom” and “democracy” indices really just reflect the ability of progressive elites to insulate their preferences from a populist challenge — even if those populist challenges are free and democratic. That’s how Freedom House, accepted as the world’s preeminent authority on freedom, can rank Canada substantially more free than the U.S., despite it being a tinpot dictatorship that confiscates the bank accounts of anyone who opposes the Trudeau regime. For decades, progressives have pointed to Freedom House to argue that America must mirror the social democracies of Europe if it is to become a respectable actor in the modern world.
The United States is ranked 118th in the world for racial inclusion, and 77th overall, according to an annual survey. https://t.co/GJjOQ4LYAz
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 23, 2023
There are a lot of dumb rankings out there, but a relatively new-to-the-scene “Inclusiveness Index” out of Berkeley University’s chillingly named “Othering & Belonging Institute” takes the top prize in absurdity.
First launched in 2016, the annual report “focuses primarily on the degree of institutional inclusion and protections extended to vulnerable groups across salient social cleavages, such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and (dis)ability” and “on social groups rather than individuals, emphasizing the kind of marginality that results from social identities and group membership.”
Translating pretentious academic speak into English, this is a ranking of countries based on how well they adhere to leftist critical theories. The more a country organizes society to combat the oppressive tyranny of straight, white men — the more inclusive it is. Apparently, only when America has its first transgender Muslim woman in a wheelchair as president will the kooks at Berkeley feel comfortable chanting “U-S-A!” (RELATED: The Corporate Diversity Industry Is Finally Getting The Hint That People Are Sick Of Them)
Unsurprisingly, the U.S. is a pretty bad place to live, according to these “experts.” In 2016, America came in at a respectable number 23 in world inclusiveness. Of course, the ranking would decline sharply under President Donald Trump. How else would experts point to Trump as the villain holding us back from greatness? Democrats, on the other hand, would “trust the science” and bring us into the modern era.
Except that didn’t exactly play out. The latest report for 2023, released this week, ranked the U.S. at a dismal 77th out of 129. America ranked not only beneath the vaunted European social democracies, but dozens of third world hellholes. In this twisted reality, South Africa, where prominent politicians call openly for the ethnic cleansing of whites, scores 50 slots higher than the United States.
“Netanyahu is a number one world terrorist and the world must fight against terrorists.”
– Julius Malema. pic.twitter.com/tCbwimzwxU
— Uncorrupted Men (@UncorruptedMen) October 25, 2023
On racial inclusion specifically, the U.S. ranked 118th. It is better to be a Uyghur Muslim in China (69th), a white farmer in South Africa (35th) or a Christian Armenian in Azerbaijan (58th) than it is to be a middle-class black person in America. Don’t worry though. At least we beat Guatemala (128th), Angola (129th) and — of course — Israel (123rd).
Apparently the Biden administration hasn’t ushered in the golden age of tolerance we were promised.
This appearance of nonpartisanship seems to throw a wrench into the theory that indices are just a tool for cry-bully activists. But that conclusion falsely assumes the index-smiths are Democratic partisans. They’re not — they’re ideologues.
Keisha Blain, professor of “Africana studies” at Brown University, gives away the game in an op-ed for MSNBC. To Blain, it’s “not a mystery” that America’s position fell further under Biden, given the “restrictive voting laws,” the Supreme Court blow to “women’s bodily autonomy” and “affirmative action,” the “waves of legislation … against LGBTQ people” and criticisms of “critical race theory” that all occurred “after [Trump’s] defeat.” The solution is more “grassroots activism” to pressure leaders into doing the activists’ bidding.
None of this is really true. The trends Blain decries are not radical, authoritarian developments, but rather a course reversal towards sanity, moderation and, yes, freedom and equality (according to their actual definitions). To crush the opposition to Blain and Berkeley’s radical agenda would take an expanded scope of government that far exceeds what Biden has the constitutional power to do. But activists will not be happy until they pressure the wider Democratic Party apparatus to do it anyway.
What the index ranking really shows is just how tenuous the relationship between the Democratic Party and its activist base really is. Biden is fine when he acts as a useful idiot, institutionalizing far-left values into the federal government and doling out economic benefits along racial lines. But it doesn’t go far enough. The type of ideologue who conceives of America as one of the least racially inclusive countries in the world will only stop when we scrap our Constitution altogether. At the end of the day — in these people’s view — Biden is only marginally better than Trump.
Biden, of course, is more susceptible to these cry-bully tactics than Trump ever was. The Democratic Party desperately wants to be seen as inclusive, as an ally to the oppressed masses and as a leader in world progressivism. By ranking Biden’s America worse than Trump’s, activists have a whole lot more to gain.