Conservative Prodigy Abandons Party, Supports Marriage Equality

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com July 04 2012 1:17 PM ET

After being dubbed the wunderkind of the conservative movement, Jonathan Krohn is abandoning the party that embraced him at the Conservative Political Action Conference three years ago.

In 2009, Krohn made a speech that became a hit among conservatives. Now 17, Krohn tells Politico that he's sick of being the face of an ideology and not just being himself, an entering freshman at New York University. Not only has he now expressed support for marriage equality and Obamacare, he even said he would probably vote for President Obama this November.

Krohn, who had written a book hailed by Republicans including Newt Gingrich, said he started reflecting on the messages he was propagating. This led to his revelation that he no longer wanted to be associated with conservatism. 

"It just didn't seem right to me anymore," he said. He also said he started reading more philosophy, disconnected from politics, that made him "realize that a lot of what I was saying was ideological blather that really wasn't meaningful."

He added his original speech at CPAC, and his early political ideology was spurred by his surroundings.

"I think it was naive," Krohn told Politico. "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."

Since his public revelation to Politico earlier this week, Krohn said he and his family have been the target of Republican backlash. Gregg Re of the Daily Caller kicked things off with an article titled "Tired of Being Typecast as Conservative, ‘Douche’ Actor and CPAC Speaker Jonathan Krohn Turns to Liberalism." Krohn said he received a tweet that read, "You betrayed God and William Bennett, you little bastard!"