Monday, July 2, 2012

Republican Goonies - Follow up!

I wrote recently about the fact that our congressmen are speaking like a bunch of tenth graders and how that fit well with one of Bill Maher's recent New Rules segments:

 "I'm not trying to slam these kids, because being an asshole is totally understandable when you're fourteen," Maher says. "But my point is to Republican adults. When 14-year old boys sound exactly like you do... maybe you should rethink the shit that's coming out of your mouth."

Politico took notice of this segment also and did a follow up on 13 year old republican author and hero of the right Jonathan Krohn.   It turns out Mr. Krohn is not the darling of the right anymore, he received an education

Jonathan Krohn took the political world by storm at 2009’s Conservative Political Action Conference when, at just 13 years old, he delivered an impromptu rallying cry for conservatism that became a viral hit and had some pegging him as a future star of the Republican Party.

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.
Then the former republican golden boy gives his thoughts on the former 13 year old right wing star, but his inner reflection could also be a nice review of the right wing hate sqaukers who are only one trick ponies.  

“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 is basically saying that when all you hear is one thing your whole life all you do is parrot it you have no idea the nuances of an issue.  So what is the cure to this?  Education of course!

“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.”

Krohn is bucking the received wisdom that people become more conservative as they get older, a shift he attributes partly to philosophy.

“I started reflecting on a lot of what I wrote, just thinking about what I had said and what I had done and started reading a lot of other stuff, and not just political stuff,” Krohn said. “I started getting into philosophy — Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Kant and lots of other German philosophers. And then into present philosophers — Saul Kripke, David Chalmers. It was really reading philosophy that didn’t have anything to do with politics that gave me a breather and made me realize that 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.”

Open your mind, think critically and continue your education and all of sudden the republican philosophy and politicians just are not so interesting or exciting anymore.

Of course Scott Walker is fully aware of this!   



  1. Hah! Beat you by an hour!

    But it's true. Once you evolve past adolescence, and actually learn empathy, self-respect and self-reflection, it becomes really hard to be Republican. You think it's a coincidence that the average GOP seems to have a terminal case of NPD?

    1. You really nailed it in regards to empathy. For whatever reason, many kids today, and especially the Republican party and supporters seem to lack any form of empathy. It's all about me, me, me.

  2. The GOP, particularly in WI, at least in my opinion, kick our butts in connecting with young people. The really milk the Young/College Republican circuit, stocking their garanimal think tanks and action groups with recent grads.