Jonathan Krohn, the Georgia boy who gave a short speech at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference, is taking a lot of heat in the wake of a Politico piece about his evolution from a tween conservative to a teenage liberal. Conservative critics are calling him an “asshole,” a “douche” and even “a young David Brock.” They’re off-base.
To be sure, some of that criticism is deserved: In the Politico piece, Krohn name-checks Austrian logician Ludwig Wittgenstein, and in an accompanying photo, he’s shown wearing thick-rimmed, hipster glasses.
But I think Krohn deserves more praise than scorn — even if he’s a hipster pursuing a career in screenwriting — because he has a trait few teenagers (or adults, for that matter) possess: intellectual integrity. Krohn could easily have parlayed his minor celebrity status in the conservative movement into a few more book deals and a cushy gig at a conservative think tank in Washington. Instead, he’s done the hard thing: he’s stayed true to his own ideas. In a world dominated by inauthentic people, Krohn is refreshingly real. And for the most part, he’s handled the backlash against his political conversion with a surprising amount of maturity for a 17-year-old. He seems open-minded and thoughtful.
Peter Tucci is an editor at The Daily Caller.