Today at a town hall John Kasich was asked by a first year female university student how the presidential hopeful could help her “feel safer and more secure regarding sexual violence, harassment and rape”. (See the CNN article “Kasich responds to question about sexual assault.”) After making some policy observations and observing that he worried about the safety of his two sixteen year old daughters, Kasich added:
“Well I would give you, I’d also give you one bit of advice. Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol. OK? Don’t do that.”
The Democratic National Committee quickly responded that Kasich was “blaming victims of sexual and domestic violence.”
You could dismiss that ridiculous comment as mere political spin. But it is far worse than that.
Just think about it. As a first year university student this young lady is probably 18-19 years old. In other words, she is well under the legal drinking age in New York State (21). And regardless of whether she drinks or not, in all likelihood a university party will include illegal underage possession and consumption of alcohol.
So the DNC is indignant that John Kasich recommended that a young lady avoid situations in which it is highly likely that significant numbers of people will be engaged in illegal behavior.
While the question of legality is important, the most crucial part of Kasich’s advice is that situations where significant numbers of minors and young legal adults are consuming alcohol are high risk. Kasich’s advice is no different from advising a young person to buckle their seat belt and not accept rides from drivers who have a suspended license.
The problem isn’t Kasich. Rather, it’s the DNC which is apparently content to impugn people who advise young women to avoid high risk situations with illegal behavior.