Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Remember When 13-Year Old Wing-nut Jonathan Krohn Was The Toast CPAC?


Jonathan wasn't really a 13 year old wing-nut-- despite what you see above-- he was just a brainwashed kid. How do I know? He says so. He's an older and wiser 17 year old now and, man has he changed. Listen to all that crap he spouting above; he became a hero to all the decrepit vampires and predators of the Ancien Régime. That was in 2009; he says he was naive and when he watches that CPAC speech, he says it makes him cringe.
“I think it was naive,” Krohn now says of the speech. “It’s a 13-year-old kid saying stuff that he had heard for a long time.… I live in Georgia. We’re inundated with conservative talk in Georgia...The speech was something that a 13-year-old does. You haven’t formed all your opinions. You’re really defeating yourself if you think you have all of your ideas in your head when you were 12 or 13. It’s impossible. You haven’t done enough.”

Krohn won’t go so far as to say he’s liberal, in part because his move away from conservatism was a move away from ideological boxes in general.

“I want to be Jonathan Krohn,” he said, “and I’m tired of being an ideology, and it’s not fun and it gets boring and it’s not who we are as individuals.

But a quick rundown of his current political stances suggests a serious pendulum swing away from the right.

Gay marriage? In favor. Obamacare? “It’s a good idea.” Who would he vote for (if he could) in November? “Probably Barack Obama.” His favorite TV shows? The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. His favorite magazine? The New Yorker. And, perhaps telling of all, Krohn is enrolling this fall at a college not exactly known for its conservatism: New York University.

“One of the first things that changed was that I stopped being a social conservative,” said Krohn. “It just didn’t seem right to me anymore. From there, it branched into other issues, everything from health care to economic issues... I think I’ve changed a lot, and it’s not because I’ve become a liberal from being a conservative-- it’s just that I thought about it more. The issues are so complex, you can’t just go with some ideological mantra for each substantive issue.”

Krohn is bucking the received wisdom that people become more conservative as they get older, a shift he attributes partly to philosophy.

“I started reflecting on a lot of what I wrote, just thinking about what I had said and what I had done and started reading a lot of other stuff, and not just political stuff,” Krohn said. “I started getting into philosophy-- Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Kant and lots of other German philosophers. And then into present philosophers-- Saul Kripke, David Chalmers. It was really reading philosophy that didn’t have anything to do with politics that gave me a breather and made me realize that a lot of what I said was ideological blather that really wasn’t meaningful. It wasn’t me thinking. It was just me saying things I had heard so long from people I thought were interesting and just came to believe for some reason, without really understanding it. I understood it enough to talk about it but not really enough to have a conversation about it.”

...Krohn’s move away from conservatism posed two risks: First, the wrath of his conservative parents. (That was quickly and pleasantly overcome: “Neither of them were overjoyed, but it didn’t really make a difference in their respect and love for me.”) Second, the discarding of a surefire path to success within the conservative movement.

Krohn said that family and friends noted “all of the opportunities” available to him in the world of politics, but giving that up “didn’t faze me because I really didn’t want to do anything that would compromise my beliefs as an individual.”

As for what’s next, Krohn says he can’t help but remain a bit of a political geek, but he’ll never write a political nonfiction book again. Instead, he’s hoping to spend his time at NYU studying philosophy and filmmaking, while occasionally writing political satire.

And that’s what Krohn seems most eager to focus on: What’s next. Not what’s in the past.

“Come on, I was thirteen,” he said. “I was thirteen.”

At least he came to his senses-- and had the dignity and depth of character to not sell out. Compare that to, say, Paul Ryan, who read Ayn Rand's moronic novels when he was a teen and immediately closed his mind to everything else-- from Jesus to anything remotely smacking of ideas beyond what an eleven year old could absorb. And based the entire budget of the United States of America on the ideas he gleaned from her paean to selfishness and greed.

But no fears... there's already a dumbed down version of Jonathan Krohn, 14-year old Caiden Cowger of West Virginia who already has all the attributes of someone destined to be arrested in a public toilet trying to pick an undercover cop in a couple decades. Young Caiden, I'm afraid, isn't going to discover Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Kant... or even the English language. This one isn't going to NYU either... but if some conservative think tank or sideshow wants to make an offer, he's not turning anything down.

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