In 2009, a conservative convention had a three minute speech from a 13 year old. The speech, embedded above, became a sensation. The speaker, Jonathan Krohn, produced a book, Defining Conservatism: The Principles That Will Bring Our Country Back. While enjoying his fifteen minutes, Mr. Krohn was photographed with a wingnut whos who.
The CPAC speech said that many people don’t understand what conservatism means. To Mr. Krohn, it centered on four things: respect for constitution, respect for life, less government, and personal responsibility. The conservative tribe leads the cheering for undeclared wars, that are fought eight time zones away. These procedures kill women and children, and are paid for with tax cuts. That takes care of all four pillars of conservatism. Maybe a thirteen year old can believe that, but the older people don’t have an excuse.
It is 2012 now. Jonathan Krohn has let his hair grow out, and is fixing to go to NYU. Politico told folks yesterday that the young man is different now. He now supports gay marriage and the ACA, among other things. The Daily Caller is having a grand hissy fit, like a kid who just found out that Santa Claus does not exist. These are the same people who think a former actor was a great president. The Daily Caller writer needs to adjust his meds.
“Holy fucking shit,” exclaimed an attendee at the 2009 CPAC conference when told about Krohn’s political conversion and planned postmodern satire in an interview with TheDC. “The kid was most annoying 13-year-old I have ever met,” said the attendee, who spoke with Krohn before his speech and talked with TheDC on the condition of anonymity because of concerns about retribution from superiors. “He was a braggart. He said something like, ‘Maybe when this is over you can watch me on ‘Hannity’ later tonight.’”
Krohn’s mother, Marla Krohn, an aspiring actress and middle-school drama teacher, has faced similar criticism. On Amazon.com, where Krohn’s self-published book “Defining Conservatism” still sells, numerous reviewers blamed her for allegedly coaching her son and using him for publicity.
The New York Times ran a profile of the Krohns in 2010 — when Jonathan was still conservative — that included numerous details about Marla’s involvement in her son’s life, including her refusal to let him own a cellphone and her insistence on barking at him while he was being interviewed by local news stations. “Krohn was smug, condescending, and obviously completely ignorant of what he was saying,” the attendee said. “When I spoke with him, I got the impression he was merely repackaging what someone else had told him. He was smart, but almost Stepford Wife-like in how it seemed like he was being used. It was creepy. … He kept talking about the book he had written and how many radio shows he had been on.” After a pause, the source added: “To be clear, the fact that he was being used did not make the kid any less of a douche.”
Fishwrapper writer Jim Galloway went to the Krohn home in Duluth to talk to Mr. Krohn. His mother left the room while the two men sat at the kitchen table. “At least one thing about Jonathan remains constant. He remains an accomplished talker. Having a conversation with him is something like exchanging views with an opened fire hydrant. The words come out not in a stream, but a torrent of consciousness.”
There is a lively twitter discussion about Mr. Krohn. (His twitter account is spelled the same, without the underscore. Web addresses are so unimaginative.) (Mr Krohn is skirmishing with Caiden Cowger, a 14 year old conservative internet radio talk show host from West Virginia.)
Here are a few of the top tweets.
@AmandaMarcotte Straight white male privilege refusing to go out without a fight looks…..yeah.
@dpleasant Dear Cons: When a 17-yr-old is your enemy & the focus of your hate, there’s not much else we need to know about you.
@joshgreenman If you’re not a conservative at 13 you have no brain; if you’re not a liberal at 17 you have no heart.
@ObsoleteDogma Roberts is lucky Jonathan Krohn is taking the heat off him as the biggest conservative defector.
@owillis there’s no netroots jonathan krohn because nobody at netroots nation put up 13 year old parroting talking points as insightful like cpac did
@AbeGreenwald If you closely follow Jonathan Krohn’s work you see this is not a shift but an extension of the Krohnist dialectic-NeoKrohnism, if you will
@JonathanLKrohn @ClumsyShaver OK. I’m just saying what @caidencowger said was really offensive and intolerant, not just mean.
@beardedstoner No wonder why conservatives are so mad at @JonathanLKrohn. He’s got their embarrassing photos.
@caidencowger @JasonGarshfield I was friends with them, but when they discovered that I was a Christian and that I was against their lifestyle, they left.
@chrisswartout @ClumsyShaver @JonathanLKrohn @caidencowger Don’t you kids have a bed time? Where are your parents???!
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
UPDATE @JonathanLKrohn @chamblee54 I didn’t have a skirmish with that Cowger kid. I just told him I didn’t want to be on his show ’cause he’s offensive…:p