Jonathan Krohn, a right-winger at 13, on growing out of it.
I was tired of being a part of the ideological warfare this country is so caught up in. I was tired of the right using me as an example of how young people “get” what they’re talking about — when it’s obvious that I didn’t get what I talking about at all. I mean, come on, I was between 13 and 14 when I was regurgitating these talking points! What does a kid who has never paid a tax bring to the table in a conversation about the burden of taxes? What does a healthy child know about people who can’t afford healthcare because of preexisting conditions? No matter how intelligent a person might be, certain political issues require life experience; they’re much more complicated than the black and white frames imposed by partisan America. (And no, my mother and father didn’t write my material for me. You’d have to be as paranoid as the birthers to think someone’s parents would put them up to all that. Have a bit more faith in the human race, man!) I was just a 13-year-old kid spitting up the nonsense he’d learned. In the future, a good rule of thumb might be: If you’re not old enough to have consensual sex, you’re probably not old enough to make consequential political statements.
My past did me some good, though. If I hadn’t seen this childishness I might never have taken the time to let myself breathe, and read philosophy, and develop a new, better sense of humor, not to mention a more mature writing style. An open mind and critical thought are like a metaphorical AA after a long bender on ideological wine: I’m proud to say that this program has gotten me three years sober.
Now, I’m just another white, comic-book collecting, sci-fi watching, film-obsessing, satirizing, sorta stereotypical Jewish nerd who’s never been laid.
So this is what this story boils down to: A 17-year-old has different opinions than he did at 13. People may be disappointed by how underwhelming that is, but it’s how the world works. Some people move on with life, mature, and realize that they don’t know everything nor will they ever know everything. Then again, some don’t.
Mazel tov, Jonathan.