13-year-old defines conservatism at CPAC, gets standing ovation

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LAWRENCEVILLE - Jonathan Krohn has been told he is a 35-year-old living in a 13-year-old's body.

Ask him about conservatism, a topic about which he is particularly passionate, and he may seem even older than 35.

The Duluth resident's belief in the conservative political viewpoint has led him to pen a primer on conservatism. Based on research and interviews with politicians he conducted himself, Krohn has outlined four principles on which he believes conservatism is based: respect for the U.S. Constitution, respect for life, less government and personal responsibility.

"Shucking it down to the cob, I noticed that almost every conservative without an exception pretty much said that those four basic principles were important and key to being a conservative," Krohn said.

The home-schooled student interviewed state legislators Tom Rice, Barry Laudermilk, Tom Graves and Clint Day. He also interviewed conservative talk show host Michael Medved during his research.

Krohn said he wrote his book for current and potential conservatives.

"If you believe in something, it's best to understand it better and to learn more about it," Krohn said, "and I believe that conservatives need to continue to do that and new conservatives need to understand the viewpoints they're getting into."

Krohn developed an interest in political processes about age 8 after hearing about a Democratic filibuster on talk radio while riding in the car with his father, and Krohn became a fan of Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" radio show.

"Because of (Bennett) I really started getting involved in politics and started looking at things and analyzing it on my own," Krohn said.

The teen speaks eloquently about his passion for politics and the values that have directed him toward conservatism.

"The reason I'm passionate about politics is because I know by promoting conservative values I can promote conservative alternatives to the liberal ideas that are out there," Krohn said.

"Define Conservatism for Past, Present and Future Generations" was published this year. Krohn spent five months writing his book, giving up his summer, said his mother, Marla Krohn, who is helping her son to promote his book. The two have embarked on a mini book tour around northeast Georgia, which they hope to turn into a broader tour.

"It is humbling and exciting at the same time to see Jonathan have such confidence in himself, more than most adults do, and to watch him interact with adults on adult issues and hold his own," said Krohn's father, Doug Krohn. "(Jonathan) has a passion for something he goes for it without fear, which is a God-given gift."

"I really want the American people to better understand conservatism," Jonathan Krohn said. "That's the main point of this book."