The last time I wrote about author/Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speaker Jonathan Krohn, I asserted, though not in so many words, that his debating and critical thinking skills left something to be desired – which was largely attributable to his age – and that a little more experience and study would get him to move away from doctrinaire conservatism. He was 14 years old at the time. Now he’s 17, and my prediction has come true (results!). How do I know? He says so himself. And it’s awesome.
In an interview with POLITICO, Krohn revealed that he was no longer a conservative, but not a liberal either, as any ideological label is now distasteful to him. The article’s writer, Patrick Gavin, took great pains to point out that Krohn is now pro-gay marriage and even pro-Obamacare. He would likely vote for President Obama in November, if he were going to be 18 by then. He’s even planning to attend New York University, of all places. It’s a pretty big shift for a guy who once named Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) as a political hero of his.
Why the change? Krohn chalks it up to his personal studies in classical, non-political philosophy, which helped him realize this:
. . . 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.
There is so much right with this passage that I might not have room for it all. First: Exposing yourself to little but one ideology renders you nigh incapable of critical thought. Second: When you translate that non-critical thought into speech, it will come out sounding like copy for political bumper stickers. Third: Chances are, you know not of what you speak.
So why am I filing this column in the Centrist Studies category without calling Krohn a centrist? It’s not just the fact that I respect his desire to avoid being labeled (though I do think he meets the criteria for centrism). It’s the fact that this is a process a hell of a lot of us centrists went through, though not as early as Krohn. I stopped calling myself a left-winger when I realized I wasn’t thinking about anything I discussed and just copied what other lefties said. That, evidently, happened to Krohn.
It’s a shame that, according to him, people aren’t interested in hearing about his political evolution. This is no surprise, since we’re talking about the right-wing establishment. I’m interested, kid! Call me, maybe!