It was perhaps the single most captivating moment in the history of heterosexual conservative romance. But when libertarian and self-professed “punk conservative” Todd Seavey chewed out his ex-girlfriend, National Review staffer Helen Rittelmeyer, on C-Span’s Book TV Monday, viewers were left wondering what it all meant. Did Helen really cheat on Todd with numerous males in the audience, and were any of them Jonah Goldberg? And was it because of his views were too repellent, or not repellent enough? Well readers, after doing some homework on this one, my heart went out to both the kids. Todd and Helen aren’t the to blame for their botched romance—conservatism was. Herewith, some unsolicited advice for Todd:
So, Todd, look… Lashing out at your girlfriend during a panel with C-Span cameras rolling is pretty cool in and of itself. It’s obviously going to wind up on Gawker, and make you look like a total buffoon, that much you obviously knew in advance. And for possessing the balls to humiliate yourself so publicly, you must be commended.
Now, obviously you could not have calculated the magnitude of what you were about to do, since you went off the rails just a tad when you implied that she cheated on you only to immediately concede that the thing was sort of “on and off” the whole time anyway, and then digging yourself even deeper with that wholly gratuitous veiled reference to her sadistic plot to seduce a friend’s boyfriend… Jesus, wow; extra “authenticity” credit for the all-out total lack of self-control.
And as far as I know you have built an entire career promulgating libertarianism, and so for casting this juvenile political philosophy that turns anachronistic kids who like drugs into shills for the money and power cartels in a totally embarrassing and appropriately infantile light, you were of course going to get some inadvertent bonus points from me. But to then author an extensive blog post elaborating upon the incident by castigating your ex-girlfriend for her lack of empathy—a psychological trait libertarianism has historically viewed as a mental defect—that really went above and beyond the call of duty. You really must have loved this bitch!
So anyway, like I said, it takes a lot of courage to look like this big of an idiot. That said, “courage” and “idiocy” coexist a lot, in a dumbshit male-dominated culture so cognitively bankrupt these days it has convinced everyone that “risk taking” a.k.a. “the indiscriminate propensity to engage in dangerous behavior” is somehow the magic ingredient to wealth. (Which is true if you happen to be wealthy in this country, because we have driven most of the laborious, societally beneficial, actually innovative ways of attaining wealth offshore to other countries, while simultaneously assuring the leveraged arbitrage community that whenever they fuck up, the U.S. government will step in to pay the bonus tab.)
But while we still have something resembling a “civilization” remaining, there are infinitely more productive, albeit less testosterone-based, forms of “courage” you might want to think about getting into, such as “moral” courage and “intellectual” courage. Which is to say, don’t stop at saying “Helen Rittelmeyer is a sociopath bitch” on national TV, Todd.
Next time make it, “Helen Rittelmeyer is a sociopath bitch who helped me understand why we must nationalize the banks.”