Back in 2009 a 13 year-old boy named Jonathan Krohn gave a speech at CPAC — an annual gathering of conservatives — that went crazy viral, as the kids say, on this here internet. He’d also written a book titled Define Conservatism. Because of this many viewed him as sort of the next Rush Limbaugh — the right-wing’s future ideological standard-bearer going forward after the possibly gay AM radio bloviator dies — or Glenn Beck, for that matter.
After the speech circulated, Krohn appeared on countless TV and radio programs — and some wingnuts even started a “Jonathan Krohn 2032” website, leading Jon Stewart to label him, “Doogie Howser GOP.” In short, many people viewed him as the future of the Republican party.
Yeah, well, so much for that.
Now 17, Krohn — who went on to write a book, “Defining Conservatism,” that was blurbed by the likes of Newt Gingrich and Bill Bennett — still watches that speech from time to time, but it mostly makes him cringe because, well, he’s not a conservative anymore.
“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.”
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.
I suppose Hologram Rush Limbaugh or Hologram Glenn Beck will just have to do for now.