“Rabidus plasmator” is a rough Latin translation of “crazy maker.” (There is an intentional humorous reference there for the uninitiated) The term “crazy maker” is a pop psychology term:
Crazymaking is when a person sets you up to lose, as in the examples above: You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You’re put in lose-lose situations, but too many games are being played for you to reason yourself out of it.
Crazymaking is a psychological coping strategy that is unintentionally developed by people, generally out of insecurity or other great emotional need. But suppose, just suppose, it was adopted deliberately as a political strategy. Might not headlines like this result:
Crazy makers of the pop psychological variety tend to reduce incredibly intelligent people to angry, sputtering, inarticulate blobs. Even trained psychologists will generally only take on one crazy making patient at a time (in those rare instances when they actually seek help) because of the enormous effort it takes to maintain a professional objectivity with such people. Imagine living with one….
Trump’s opponents both in politics and the media are increasingly taking on the appearance of people that live with a crazy maker. The question is, “Is Trump’s crazymaking intentional or unintentional?”
Here’s the thing, crazy makers of the psychological variety are such because they lack competence. They engage in crazy making in order to make everyone else look as ineffective as they are. If they cannot rise to the occasion they will make sure everyone else comes down to their level.
But Donald Trump seems to be about a very different game. His accomplishments in office are real, significant and numerous – regulatory roll back, tax relief and judges, judges, judges. His game seems to be not lowering everyone else to his level, but instead distracting them so he can get about his business. That’s not a personality disorder, that’s a strategy.
To be sure such a strategy requires more than a touch of narcissism and an enormous tolerance for “drama,” but to date it appears more effective than not. Such a strategy would, on a priori evaluation, exact too high a price from its executor – masking the actual accomplishment in a haze of confusion and most importantly increasing national disunity. But if one considers the nation irretrievably disunified and therefore concludes that half the nation will never grant credit where credit is due, well, it might be a useful strategy.
One could also question such a strategy on a moral level. It is deeply Machiavellian, treating one’s opponents with extreme disregard, if not contemptuously. But if one has concluded that one’s opponents have already moved from a state of political disagreement to a state of political warfare; in war one must kill a lot of the enemy before they can befriend them – and war can be just.
In the end, I am just speculating here. I have no idea what goes on in the mind of president. I do not know if he operates by strategy, instinct or sheer force of personality. I do know he is not nearly as bad as his opponents make out nor as saintly as his strongest supporters believe. I do know that what he is doing works more than it backfires and that I generally, but not always, agree with what he is trying to get done.
I also know that in the end his opposition’s responses are self-defeating. Whether by design or accident, such could represent a significant turning point in the history of the nation. We are cursed to live in interesting times.