The GOP's Little Superstar

Conservative wunderkind Jonathan Krohn was interviewed by CBS's Bob Schieffer today, in case you want to feel sad.

Krohn, 14, recently spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, to rousing applause and adulation.

"From now on I am going to be known as a political analyst and not just a kid," the author of the self-published "Define Conservatism" told Schieffer.

And that is the most :( sentence we've read this week.

One of many important differences between our modern, enlightened society and the more brutish world of generations past is that we allow (and force) children to be, well, children.

Of course it was the Victorians who invented this idyllic state and their vision of it depended on myth and privilege, but America democratized the notion and (eventually) kicked the kids out of the factories.

You know those old paintings where children are depicted as freakish, disproportionate tiny adults? There is a very good reason that looks "wrong" to modern eyes. It is why there are few things sadder and creepier to that modern eye than seeing a child act in a non-childlike fashion, be he a soldier or pageant contestant.

There can be arguments about how much agency children should be allowed, but societally it's unacceptable to say anyone pre-pubescent has the rational capability or emotional maturity to make decisions for themselves about participation in sex, war, labor, mind-altering substances, the electoral process, or even schooling. Which is why a kid who has sex or goes to war or works in a factory is acknowledged to have been forced to do this, even if, when you ask the kid, they may say it was their idea, or that they enjoy it. Childhood is a social construct, but it's one of the cornerstones of our western society.

Now Jonathan Krohn is 14, but he was 13 when he spoke at CPAC, and he's been at this shit—self-publishing books and writing political radio programs and generally hustling and speaking in freakishly complete sentences holding forth on the tenets of conservativism—for some time.

We were a precocious, precious, well-spoken and bright young liberal atheist ourself at that age, but our parents didn't put us in a monkey suit and send us to TV studios. We just wrote funny plays and stories, at school, and desperately tried to find a social group and get girls to like us, at school. No one groomed us for radio appearances or televised speeches, they just encouraged us to continue our education until we could come to an adult decision, aided by maturity and schooling, about what the hell we wanted to do with our political beliefs and readings and sense of humor (haha sorry that didn't work out too well, mom).

So young Jonathan Krohn is "creepy" in the same way this poor fucking girl is creepy, in the way it always is when fundamentalists groom young perfect embodiments of their fucked-up ideals. It was creepy when that guy got a bunch of kids to sing a hymn to Obama, too, but the Democrats didn't invite those kids to sing at the White House. Because most liberals we know were fucking creeped out by them as much as conservatives were, and we'd hope more reasonable conservatives would be calling for Jonathan to go home and read and learn and fucking play for a few years before making his next public appearance.

Why is demonstrating how well you trained a child to parrot bullshit a coherent or convincing argument for your political philosophy? What planet are you on?