Opinions can change over time

By Ken Hughes | Published Saturday, July 7, 2012

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At the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference a 13-year-old lad who, precisely as virtually all youngsters invariably follow the religion of their parents, followed the political persuasions of his parents. With little doubt, young Jonathan Krohn’s words made Republican Party members experience warm, fuzzy feelings.

As one would anticipate, his speech, that was seen by party faithful as a rallying cry for conservatism, went viral on the Internet, and he was immediately pegged as a rising star in the conservative Republican world. To cap that off and probably make the Newt beam, he wrote a book titled “Defining Conservatism.”

According to Krohn, he still watches that speech from time to time, but it “makes him cringe.” Now at 17, he has clearly matured a bit and had a change of mind and in his own words, “I think it was naive. 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.”

To that I would add, one hasn’t learned enough to form a mature and valid opinion about much of anything. When asked for whom he would vote today if he was of age, he replied “Obama.”

When Diane, my lovely bride for the past 46 years, and I were deeply involved in the North Carolina Republican Party during the Reagan era, she was the Teen Age Republican (TAR) adviser for Rockingham County, and I was the official North Carolina “Reagan-Bush 1984” campaign photographer.

She was so popular that during the state Republican Convention she was in line to be elected as the North Carolina State TAR adviser. During the convention she was interviewed by Sen. Helms’ “people” who informed her that if she accepted the position she could not, must not, have a public opinion that was in any way contrary to that of Helms’.

The interview lasted almost three hours and when she rejoined me, I asked her what happened. She informed me about the restrictions on her voice and said she refused the position, which made her 10-feet-tall in my estimation. She still has and uses her voice. What a woman!

Ken Hughes

4 Responses to “Opinions can change over time”

  1. Jim Popp says:


    When I first started to read your letter, I immediately wondered why you were quoting a 13 yr old boy and his conservative thoughts, because as you pointed out, he was most likely just repeating what he had heard his parents and their friends state. As a Conservative myself, I like to hear Conservative thoughts discussed by young people, but 13 is just a little young to have been “set in his ways”. That would have been true had he been stating liberal thoughts too. Obviously, your reasons became clear rather quickly and you seem to have taken great pleasure in the fact that now, at the age of 17, this young person has changed his mind and his own thoughts, and is now a liberal and an Obama voter.

    Why would you use this 13 yr old, now 17 yr old, young person as your example in this letter? Many children change their minds quite frequently, for many reasons, on many subjects.

    The story about you and Diane while living in, and involved in Republican politics, in North Carolina was interesting, but has no point either. To work for ANY Politician, Republican or Democrat, ANYWHERE requires the person to agree with their boss and not make any contrary statements to his/her positions on various issues and matters. The ONLY ONE who apparently gets away with not doing that is former President Clinton, who seems to like to nail Obama whenever he can while out on the trail supposedly campaigning for him.

    Both issues exampled in your letter happen in both parties, in both directions, with many people of different ages and with working for different politicians of both parties, all the time. However, it was nice to read a letter from you finally that wasn’t just outright spewing liberal hatred and propaganda.

  2. Ken Hughes says:


    I don’t “spew hatred” as I do not hate and it’s all waster energy; I on the other hand am roundly hated in neocon and theocon circles as expressed in these columns. Regarding the “boss” issue, I have been self-employed for roughly 85% of my professional life post US Army service; therefore, there is not a boss or a local company that can pose a threat to me in business or my employment. Indeed I am a liberal humanist and can get along with anyone as long as they make the effort to meet me somewhere in the middle, remember our last chance meeting and friendly chat at the local McDonalds? It was clear enough that it was election time, and true to form my votes were cast mostly on the “liberal” side if such a thing is possible in Wise County. I would register as an independent if it was possible here.

    I always like to say that being self-employed I always get along well with management; with that said I also like to add, “She lets me do pretty much what I want”, don’t you honey. We’ve been in our present line of business for almost 20-years; my how time flies.

    I’m sure there are “conversions” in all political parties, and I only commmented on this one as it’s a funny story as the lad was indeed hailed as a rising star in the Republican firmament.

  3. True, a child of 13 will usually parrot what he or she has heard at home. Even more true, an adolescent of 15 through the early 20’s will parrot the thoughts of his or her peers, teachers, and what whatever agenda they can latch their minds too. Normally at that age, that agenda is selfish in nature. It doesn’t make that child bad, it’s just normal. At 17, he more than likely thinks he is a free thinker because he now agrees with adults other than his parents. that is all this story tells me at this point. It is a well known fact that our public school systems are greatly slanted to the left. There are few Universities that aren’t left biased, to the extent that they are on the borderline of brainwashing our children.

    I would love to meet this kid at 40 and see what his views are then. After he has actually live life, after the full effects of Obamacare and the liberal agenda have further destroyed his country. After he realizes that his parents might have know what they were talking about because they actually have jobs and work for a living. You see, there are two (at least) view points to this scenario.

  4. Jim Popp says:


    Yes, we did have a chance meeting at Mickey D’s in the recent past where we sat and just talked for a while, simply because we know each other outside of this column. Aside from your extreme liberal views and my rather extreme conservative views, which we did not get into during that chance meeting, we had a rather nice conversation without any political issues being mentioned. Why not try expressing yourself in your letters in here without calling us Conservatives various names you come up with, that are not very flattering, and just expressing yourself that way, without the name calling? Who knows, there may just be another Conservative in Wise County besides Diane and me who would sit with you in Mickey D’s and talk about general subjects with you. You are not my, and I am not your personal enemy! We are political position adversaries, so we did not discuss that subject and we had a nice conversation.


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