Conservative columnist George Will says American colleges are becoming “the victims of progressivism” which has made “victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges.”
According to Department of Education data, "forcible rape" has increased 49 percent from 2008 to 2012. Will says the White House is using the skyrocketing reports of campus rape as a way to overregulate higher education.
In an op-ed published June 6 by the Washington Post, Will says “academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.
“Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of ‘sexual assault’ victims,” he wrote. “It vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults. “
He said the end result is campuses “making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations” and the government launching “costly litigation against institutions that have denied due process to males they accuse of what society considers serious felonies.”
Will also criticized academia “with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense” for “making itself ludicrous.”
“What government is inflicting on colleges and universities, and what they are inflicting on themselves, diminishes their autonomy, resources, prestige and comity,” he added. “Which serves them right. They have asked for this by asking for progressivism.”
Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal, Diane Feinstein, Tammy Baldwin and Bob Casey blasted Will's critique. He issued the following response on June 12:
As for what you call my 'ancient beliefs,' which you think derive from an 'antiquated' and 'counterintuitive' culture, allow me to tell you something really counterintuitive: I think I take sexual assault much more seriously than you do. Which is why I worry about definitions of that category of crime that might, by their breadth, tend to trivialize it.