For the average high-schooler, experimenting with new groups of friends and leaving old cliques behind is a typical rite of passage. Former Republican wunderkind Jonathan Krohn is no exception.
Krohn, who at age 13 became a mini-celebrity on the right on the strength of a prime speaking slot at CPAC in 2009, has abandoned his old buddies in the GOP in favor of the cool liberal kids in the cafeteria. In an interview with Politico, Krohn, now 17, says he was “naive” when he wrote “Defining Conservatism” and hobnobbed with the likes of Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist.
“It’s a 13-year-old kid saying stuff that he had heard for a long time,’ Krohn told Politico. “I live in Georgia. We’re inundated with conservative talk in Georgia.”
Attributing his newfound skepticism of the right to a close reading of German philosophy, he’s now leaning toward supporting Barack Obama, backs the Affordable Care Act and has moved left on social issues like gay marriage.
Not everyone’s happy with the change. Breitbart columnist Ben Shapiro accused him on Twitter of betraying his former pals for publicity.
Jonathan Krohn turns 17, realizes he hasn’t been relevant in 3 years, goes lib. We’re looking at a young David Brock.— benshapiro (@benshapiro) July 2, 2012
But conservatives will always have the memories. Below is the big 2009 speech that made him a star. And for those interested, never-used copies of his book are available for $.01 (plus shipping) on Amazon.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.