Remember Jonathan Krohn, the barely pubescent boy who became a minor star of the Republican party back in 2009? As I wrote at the time:
This morning, Republican America is all smitten with this 14-year-old kid, Jonathan Krohn, who's written a book and schmoozes the teevee cameras and talks about what's so great about conservatism.
Here's the thing: All kids are conservative. They are naturally conservative—I was, you were, we all were—knowing only their small domestic sphere and protective of only their narrow interests. They like the status quo, they like rigid authority structures, they like the illusion of changelessness that a stable household provides.
The process of becoming an adult liberal is the process of realizing that the world is bigger and weirder and more malleable than you ever imagined, and that there are interests other than one's own to defend.
This kid, smart and curious as he is, will grow into a liberal. I just hope his parents and press agents let him.
Now, three years later, Politico has interviewed the kid and guess what? He's in favor of gay marriage, Barack Obama, and even Obamacare.
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...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.”
Ta da! He's grown up, learned some things, and left conservatism—at least the perverse strain of American/Republican conservatism that tries to legislate people's private lives for moral reasons, but balks at actually helping them in any material or meaningful way.
That kind of conservatism is strictly for children.