Once A Conservative Idol, 17-Year Old Now Rejects ‘Being An Ideology’

JKrohnMany of you may remember when, in 2009, a 13-year old named Jonathan Krohn became a right wing sensation after railing against liberalism at the conservative CPAC conference. Times change, though, and the now 17-year old Krohn's largely rejected a lot of that rhetoric.

Patrick Gavin at Politico reports:

"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."

Krohn also says that unlike a lot of the conservative who once idolized him, he's in favor of marriage equality.


  1. says

    well met!

    it’s like when kids go away to university out of state and realize that, wonder of wonders, everyone back home was full of crap.

    welcome to the real world, may you continue to grow.

  2. Mary says

    It sounds to me like Mr. Krohn is a “love the one you’re with” kind of person. Something tells me that when he’s in his late 20’s and working in corporate America he’ll be a socially liberal Republican. But at 13 people can only BEGIN to understand politics. And even at 17 it’s hard because you haven’t had the years of independent reading it takes to absorb various viewpoints. It usually takes years before you even know what books/journals/subjects are worthy of your time to study. And the best people between 13 and 17 years of age are unlikely to be making speeches because if they’re worth their salt they understand the disadvantage that youth and lack of knowledge place them in. They usually are not confident enough to do much more than ask questions and continue to read and learn. So I’m suspicious of the motives of anyone in his/her teens who feels confident enough to give political speeches.

  3. Paul R says

    Umm, anyone who marveled at the political rant of a 13-year-old was an idiot. This story was always stupid. I wouldn’t trust my nieces and nephews of that age to be able to tell me the correct time even when wearing a digital watch, and they’re smart kids. I certainly don’t rely on them for astute political analysis.

  4. NY2.0 says

    Glad to see him growing out of that nonsense. Conservatives just love using children to spew their political propaganda. As if it’s going to have any semblance of truth coming out of the mouths of children.

  5. mike flower says

    Hmmmm, this kid’s critical thinking skills are speed-of-light compared to Andrew Sullivan. Reading this made me immediately think of the recent video of the 4 y/o singing something ab “No Homos In Heaven” or whatever it was called.

  6. Icebloo says

    Whether he’s now a conservative or a liberal it’s refreshing to see someone talk so honestly & admit to his mistakes. Seems like he’s grown up to be a nice person after all.

  7. ratbastard says

    He has developed a sophisticated personal philosophy at the ripe old age of 17. He sees the forest from the trees, something people twice his age don’t. Good for him.

  8. andrew says

    Funny thing about kids: many of them grow up not just physically but also intellectually.As a high school kid in the 1950s,I use to run home to watch the Army-McCarthy Hearings on TV, I was totally pro McCarthy. However, my entire adult life has been spent as a liberal democrat. I had a very bright student in a freshman social studies class years ago who was a quite outspoken conservative. He even identified himself as a Limbaugh “ditto head”. Today he is a liberal democratic representative in the Pa State House. Change is often a good thing.

  9. UFFDA says

    Kids are for spanking. Women are for beating. And gays are for stoning. In the Middle Finger East that is. Let’s just be grateful for where we are and what we have the freedom to call news.

  10. Rick says

    Exactly why I pointed out a while back that all the venom being spewed at the 14-year-old boy in West Virginia with his own radio program was pathetic…..because he was a CHILD and was not even mature enough to form opinions yet.

    Also, just for the record, Atlanta is one of the most progressive cities in the country and has a thriving gay community (the rest of Georgia is another matter). It had its first Pride parade way back in 1977, long before most other cities had one–and I participated in it, although I was just passing through and did not live there. Of course, that was back when Pride was still something one could be proud of rather than the freak show it has become in many cities…..and also when taking part in a Pride parade, especially in a place that was having one for the first time, was a risky proposition for the participants.

    Etched on my memory forever will be the looks on the faces of the bystanders, who simply could not believe what they were witnessing–a sort of shock and awe, as though they had just seen ghosts…..

  11. anon says

    Actually, Rick, I think pride parades here in the US are too safe now, taking place in liberal cities with large gay populations. Meanwhile, real pride parades are taking place in conservative Eastern European countries with real risks. We might want a few pride parades in more conservative areas of the US to get the ball rolling again. Also, the participants should be the gays in the area, who are now relegated to the sidelines in the major city events while bank and bar floats go by as rolling advertisements.

    Studies have shown that political views tend to remain fairly fixed depending on certain aspects of personality and emotional states of mind. That is, if your personality is one of holding on to a view, regardless then your politics won’t change very much, but if you are flighty then you’ll flip-flop. Also, you rarely get pure liberalism or pure conservatism in a single person very often.

  12. El Camino says

    At least he’s honest and willing to admit he doesn’t know it all. That’s more than I can say for a lot of 17-year-olds, regardless of orientation or political view.

  13. Genevieve says

    When I was his age I was as conservative as they come. I even wrote a paper in school on how great Regan was. I blamed AIDS on gay people, that’s how frikin crazy I was. And then I got into high school & started thinking on my own & realized that the way my parents thought or the way the church I went to thought, wasn’t the only way nor the correct way. I have made a 180 degree turn from my little naive self as it looks like this kid is doing. And hopefully will continue to do.

  14. andrew says

    @El Camino: You were right when you said the young man is “willing to admit he doesn’t know it all”.Can you imagine many of the frequent posters on this site making such an admission and actually believing it?

  15. andrew says

    @MARY: I was not referring to you, But the fact that you came on Towleroad to learn something makes me question your intelligence. All you really get on Towleroad are the constant rants of leftwing ideologues like littlekiwi and the whatever rants of rick and ratbastard et al. These people and there ILK are not interested in the free exchanhe of ideas. Like Benedict XVI, they believe that they possess the infallible truth and all that others have to do is follow them.If you don’t agree with them you are either a homophobe or a self loathing homosexual who is told “to grow a pair”.They have nothing of value to say and as kiwi often says of others “they should be ignored”.

  16. Orion I says

    A previous commenter wrote:
    “At 17 he’s still a child. Do a story on him when he’s 35 years old, after he’s gained some actual life experience.”

    Actually you’re wrong. A lot of maturing and learning can occur between 13 and 17. Obviously since he’s changed his viewpoints. I’m 26 and I know for a fact that I know everything there is to know about life as I need to know it. I don’t have to prove that to anyone. I know many 35 year old + guys who are as immature as a 12 year old .

  17. Orion I says

    @Rick the first pride parade in Atlanta was actually 1971. It was organized by the Georgia Gay Liberation Front.

    I’m proud to call Atlanta home because of our huge gay community. I’m also fortunate to have been born here and grow up near the center of one of the largest LGBT communities in the country. I couldn’t have survived elsewhere.

  18. Ray says

    It becomes increasingly difficult to define “Conservative”. I was very influenced by Ayn Rand’s philosophy when I was younger but you cannot consider her “conservative” in today’s sense. She strongly opposed Ronald Reagan. This party is much too aligned with the Religious right for my taste. I tend to believe that religion is part of the problem. It confuses people. It divides our pysche and makes rational people accept irrational beliefs. I am not an atheist but I believe that science is the correct path for a rational being. Left and right are relative terms. I am much more comfortable with President Obama’s policies as a whole. I strongly oppose giving companies incentives to outsource to a dictatorship like China; It goes against our principles as a free nation. I would rather see our Government give incentives to keep jobs in this country. I have no problem with limited Socialism. A country as large as our would never function as a total Free Market. We need good regulations to keep the playing field fair and stable. Any game needs rules. Actually, the Republicans are the biggest abusers of “Free Market” principles. If I could assign a slogan to the Republican party, it would be “I want my cake and eat it too”. The Republican party of today is much too confusing. It is no wonder that this young man changed his mind.

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