I have two items for this post:
1. Andy Griffith has passed away. I enjoyed watching Andy Griffith on The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock, Roots: The Next Generation, Face in the Crowd, the commercials supporting Obamacare, etc. You can read some of my posts where I talk about Andy Griffith here.
2. Jonathan Krohn, the teenager who wowed C-PAC in 2009, is no longer a conservative. Here‘s an excellent article about this, which also has a video in which Krohn pontificates about the Republican Party (but I don’t know how old that video is, since Krohn sounds somewhat like a fiscal conservative there).
I wrote about Krohn in 2009 in my posts here and here. He’s always struck me as highly intelligent, even when he was a conservative (not that I have ever met him personally). His defection from conservatism probably occurred at a higher level than my own, since it coincided with him reading a lot of philosophy. (I’ve read some of the philosophers he has read, but not others, plus my own defection from conservatism was due largely to my own personal frustration with the American health care system.)
In the area of political analysis, he usually impressed me. You can watch his political commentary on the video in that article, and you can tell he’s an insightful observer. He brings philosophy into the discussion, talks about political parties, argues that the Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party has negative effects, etc.
In terms of policy analysis when he was a conservative, he was hit-or-miss. For example, in his article, What’s So Bad About Universal Health Care, he made a good point when he noted that Obamacare’s public option (which no longer exists) would put private health insurance companies out of business and thus cost jobs. But he did not provide a substantive critique of universal health care but said in response to the argument that universal health care is common in Europe and thus should be adopted in America, “If, for example, Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, and others instituted a law that said everyone must jump off a bridge, would we institute the law in America also?” He did not probe why many Europeans were satisfied with their health care system, nor did it seem to dawn on him that America’s health care system has serious problems of its own (or such was my impression from this article, and I could be mistaken). I was disappointed by that article because I expected more sophistication on Jonathan Krohn’s part.
But now he’s not a conservative. He doesn’t regard himself as a liberal, either, but as Jonathan Krohn. I have to admire him for giving up his celebrity status to be true to himself.