What would be madness in an individual is realpolitik in a policymaker. However, where madness froths and foams, realpolitik expresses its madness in measured tones and euphemisms.
Realpolitik differs from ideology even though it may be driven by it. Both slaughter, but ideology does so in a spittle-spray of hate while realpolitik does so with detachment.
Ideologues build utopias; policymakers pursue national interests. Neither is moved by a bombed baby. The ideologue sees the baby’s death as a small price to pay for the utopia he is building, while the policymaker sees the baby’s death as collateral damage.
The souls of both are so empty and barren that they can only define themselves by what they hate, though the policymaker’s hate is more refined than the ideologue’s. The ideologue sees an enemy while the policymaker sees an obstacle. In the end, it makes little difference which is which; both must be destroyed.
It is the madness of the ideologue and the policymaker that makes the world work. Their madness feeds on the certitude of moral relativism. Ends change as the means become bloodier, corrupting both the utopias and the national interests.
The ideologue spreads his gospel with the car bomb; the policymaker prefers bombs dropped from the air. Policymakers don’t like blood on their hands; to the ideologue the blood of the innocent splattered on his clothing signifies his dedication to a higher cause.
For both policymaker and ideologue, madness is greatness, which is why you are the greatest president ever to occupy the Oval Office, though I must warn you, Sarah could well eclipse your greatness when she takes over.