Jonathan Krohn made a splash onto the conservative political scene at the early age of 13-years-old when he delivered a now viral speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2009.
Krohn's speech, which was well-received by the audience, consisted of a rallying cry for conservatism and pretty much outlined a book that the young man had even written, called Defining Conservatism.
Three years and several hundred thousand YouTube views later, Krohn cringes at his pre-pubescent self because as he says today, he's not much of a conservative anymore.
I think it was naive, Krohn recently told Politico in an exclusive interview. 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.
Present day Krohn shows signs of maturity in the politico interview and does so by practicing what he preaches. Not revealing which side of the ballot he leans toward today is a smart move, because like he said, he hasn't done enough to really know yet.
I want to be Jonathan Krohn, he said, and I'm tired of being an ideology, and it's not fun and it gets boring and it's not who we are as individuals.
In the Politico interview, Krohn does go on to clear the air on a few of his opinions by saying that he's in favor of gay marriage as well as Obamacare.
It's a good idea, Krohn says in reference to the recently pass Health Care act.
He also reveals that he's a fan of Jon Stewarts The Daily Show and its counterpart, The Colbert Report.
While the sprout 17-year-old has accomplished more than most of his peers, he expresses an urge to learn even more as he gears up to enroll in college in the fall - New York University to be specific.
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.
With no plans of writing writing another political nonfiction book, Krohn says that he's hoping to spend his time at NYU studying philosophy and filmmaking, while occasionally writing political satire.
But as Krohn realizes he has his whole life ahead of him, it's his former self that he has to thank for the opportunities to lay ahead.
Come on, I was thirteen, he said. I was thirteen.