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This Conservative Icon Isn't Apologizing for the Column that Has 'the Rabble' Furious


"They go from a standing start to fury in about 30 seconds."

George Will isn't backing down, even as critics are "calling for [his] head."

Will's Washington Post column on sexual assault stirred up a great deal of controversy, as he acknowledged in an interview with C-SPAN published Friday.

"Today, for some reason ... indignation is the default position of certain people in civic discourse," he said. "They go from a standing start to fury in about 30 seconds."

The internet has "erased the barriers of entry to public discourse," Will said, which is good because more people can be involved in conversations, but it's bad because a lot of those people aren't that bright.

"Among the barriers of entry that have been reduced, is you don't have to be able to read, write, or think," he said. "You can just come in and shout and call names and carry on."

In his controversial column and in the Friday interview, Will argued that progressives on college campuses are eroding centuries of legal precedent while feeding into misplaced fears about a "supposed campus epidemic of rape."

Will criticized rape and sexual assault statistics put out by the Obama administration and blamed progressivism for potentially ruining the lives of young men who, rather than being clearly-defined rapists, are swimming in the "sea of hormones and alcohol that gets [them] into so much trouble on campuses."

If liberals truly take rape and sexual assault to be serious crimes, Will argued, they should not seek to blur distinctions between different kinds of assault, nor should they call, as the the Education Department has, for using the “preponderance of the evidence” standard in sexual assault cases.

Will's sizable vocabulary was on full display when the host mentioned that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had dumped his column and Will responded, "Yes they have — they know how to propitiate the rabble."

This story has been updated.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter


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