Monday, July 2, 2012

Grow up, grow out of conservatism

Somehow this story didn't surprise me.
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.

“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.”...

“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.”

But a quick rundown of his current political stances suggests a serious pendulum swing away from the right.

Gay marriage? In favor. Obamacare? “It’s a good idea.” Who would he vote for (if he could) in November? “Probably Barack Obama.” His favorite TV shows? “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” His favorite magazine? The New Yorker. And, perhaps telling of all, Krohn is enrolling this fall at a college not exactly known for its conservatism: New York University.

“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.”
This is also called getting experience, learning about reality, and being able to walk in someone else's shoes. And once you do that, it becomes really hard to stay conservative, at least in the 2012 "as heard on talk radio and Fox News" version.

And it also proves the point that Bill Maher made a little over a week ago, in which he referenced Krohn's book, and said that today's GOP are nothing more than people with the menatlity of middle schoolers.

It's absolutely true. Today's GOP are filled with self-absorbed, jealous weaklings who aren't secure enough to listen and learn from others, and never admit that you might be wrong because somehow you think it may be construed as weakness. And when confronted with facts and realitiy that don't go your way, demean the other person and hang with a group of like-minded bullies to snicker and laugh at those "smarty-pants thinkin' and carin'" types.

I can relate, I was one of those types of "victimized" Republicans, constantly whining about how good other people had it...when I was in high school. Then I grew up, learned things, did different things, met people from different backgrounds, and developed into first a Clinton-voting Dem, and eventually the unapologetic liberal I am today.

I think this is why so many Republicans refuse to believe in evolution, because unlike Jonathan Krohn, they don't have the brains or the guts to EVOLVE past 8th grade. So they stay in permanent adolescence, continually whining, screaming, hating and bullying, and then they can't figure out why things keep failing for them.

There's a reason I chose to teach high schoolers and college kids over middle school, and it's the same reason I don't hang with Tea Baggers. There's no sense wasting my time with people who lack the mental capacity, strength, or maturity to analyze, self-reflect and act respectfully. And the class A jerks in both groups are hopeless, only drag you down to their level and leave you wanting to wring their necks because it's apparently the only way they'll learn something from acting the way they are.

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