Conservatives: Beware Krohn's Syndrome

I feel compelled to say a word in defense of the now seventeen year-old Jonathan Krohn, erstwhile conservative wunderkind, who apparently at 13 wrote a book, Defining Conservatism, that people actually bought. (One can only conclude that the purchasers of this curiosity agreed with the reaction of Samuel Johnson to a phenomenal talking dog being exhibited at a London pub: what was remarkable was the dog making the attempt at all.)  Notwithstanding whatever buyer's remorse he engendered among conservatives, Jonathan very properly concluded that he'd be invited to way cooler parties by emphasizing his current aspiration to  study philosophy and filmmaking at NYU than he would trying to  impress the girls with stories of hanging with Bill Bennett and  Sean Hannity. Hey, not a problem.

Much more serious, however, are the widespread adult manifestations of what now can be called Krohn's Syndrome: putting a personal agenda ahead of the cause. A pubescent cicerone pretending to guide readers to the wisdom of Adam Smith, Burke, Tocqueville and Hayek is one thing. So what if the kid made a few bucks from gullible people? The money will help his parents avoid debt financing his not-so-wise sounding college plans. But self-styled Young Guns who won't shoot,  decidedly rusty old guns who seem intimidated at the prospect of carrying  out  the electorally-expressed  will of the American people and, of course, brilliant conservative Chief Justices who offer up  a tendentious  pastiche that could only pass introductory  Con Law if  it  were taught by Professor Obama, are another  thing  entirely.

The concern of an Etch-a-Sketch senior advisor about keeping a ten-year-old story line consistent than burying ObamaCare is no more suited to this campaign season than was a panicky suspension of a presidential campaign and rush to Washington in 2008. In that case McCain took ownership of a problem he was incapable of saying anything coherent about, and provided a stage upon which the superior posturer could strut. Romney trying to re-semantise the semantics is just meaningless blah blah that does not substitute for arguing a case in facts or in principles.

Psalm 146 enjoins us, "Put not your trust in princes." We have to recognize that Krohn Syndrome has reached epidemic levels among the worthies we are accustomed to look to for saving the Republic. Think of it this way: One day soon an errant whale will wash up on some liberal coast and there will be no vast armada of government-subsidized empathy mobilized to save it. The money to do it just won't be there. We can't be that whale, flopping around waiting for the experts to get us off the beach and into safe waters. We can either stay off the beach by dint of our own exertions, or we can rot.

I feel compelled to say a word in defense of the now seventeen year-old Jonathan Krohn, erstwhile conservative wunderkind, who apparently at 13 wrote a book, Defining Conservatism, that people actually bought. (One can only conclude that the purchasers of this curiosity agreed with the reaction of Samuel Johnson to a phenomenal talking dog being exhibited at a London pub: what was remarkable was the dog making the attempt at all.)  Notwithstanding whatever buyer's remorse he engendered among conservatives, Jonathan very properly concluded that he'd be invited to way cooler parties by emphasizing his current aspiration to  study philosophy and filmmaking at NYU than he would trying to  impress the girls with stories of hanging with Bill Bennett and  Sean Hannity. Hey, not a problem.

Much more serious, however, are the widespread adult manifestations of what now can be called Krohn's Syndrome: putting a personal agenda ahead of the cause. A pubescent cicerone pretending to guide readers to the wisdom of Adam Smith, Burke, Tocqueville and Hayek is one thing. So what if the kid made a few bucks from gullible people? The money will help his parents avoid debt financing his not-so-wise sounding college plans. But self-styled Young Guns who won't shoot,  decidedly rusty old guns who seem intimidated at the prospect of carrying  out  the electorally-expressed  will of the American people and, of course, brilliant conservative Chief Justices who offer up  a tendentious  pastiche that could only pass introductory  Con Law if  it  were taught by Professor Obama, are another  thing  entirely.

The concern of an Etch-a-Sketch senior advisor about keeping a ten-year-old story line consistent than burying ObamaCare is no more suited to this campaign season than was a panicky suspension of a presidential campaign and rush to Washington in 2008. In that case McCain took ownership of a problem he was incapable of saying anything coherent about, and provided a stage upon which the superior posturer could strut. Romney trying to re-semantise the semantics is just meaningless blah blah that does not substitute for arguing a case in facts or in principles.

Psalm 146 enjoins us, "Put not your trust in princes." We have to recognize that Krohn Syndrome has reached epidemic levels among the worthies we are accustomed to look to for saving the Republic. Think of it this way: One day soon an errant whale will wash up on some liberal coast and there will be no vast armada of government-subsidized empathy mobilized to save it. The money to do it just won't be there. We can't be that whale, flopping around waiting for the experts to get us off the beach and into safe waters. We can either stay off the beach by dint of our own exertions, or we can rot.

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