"Political suicide” is for a politician to support an unpopular (or highly contested) political position. For example, many people said that that it would be political suicide in 2009 for a politician to vote for the healthcare bill. However, what one citizen considers “political suicide,” another citizen might consider to be a correct political vote.
Increasing taxes—especially in an election year—is often considered to be “political suicide” for a politician. Cutting Social Security (called the “third rail” of politics because it can’t be touched) is also often said to be “political suicide.”
The term “political suicide” was in use in Great Britain in the 1700s. In 1770, anything against the American colonies was said to be political suicide: “Every thing that injures the colonies, is injurious to G. Britain; and we commit a kind of political suicide when we endeavour to crush them into obedience.”
Wikipedia: Political suicide
Political suicide is the concept that a politician or political party would lose widespread support and confidence from the voting public by proposing actions that are seen as unfavourable or that might threaten the status quo. A politician who committed political suicide might be forced to resign. A political party could stand to lose followers by deviating greatly from its core values and policies. Another term for such policies are “the third rail”.
Cynics may blame this concept as a reason for a lack of real change or progress in society and that actions described as political suicide are usually sound intentions shot down by reactionism and fear of change.
1) to act in such a way (verbal or non-verbal) that causes one, typically a politician, to lose widespread support.
1) When the Senator threw away his medals from the Vietnam war he committed political suicide.
2) If he post the banner and the war continues, he’ll commit political suicide.
3) President Piggly Wiggly committed political suicide when he used billions of taxpayers dollars to help the auto industry and then still have the auto industry to fail after the first bankruptcy.
by ThePeaceKeeper Jun 13, 2009
The Free Dictionary
1. The act or an instance of intentionally killing oneself.
2. The destruction or ruin of one’s own interests: It is professional suicide to involve oneself in illegal practices.
3. One who commits suicide
30 September 1766, New-York (NY) Gazette, supplement, pg. 1:
And, let us remember farther, if we suffer by the event, that suffering may be by a kind of political suicide.
May 1770, The Scots Magazine, pg. 240, col. 1:
Every thing that injures the colonies, is injurious to G. Britain; and we commit a kind of political suicide when we endeavour to crush them into obedience.
20 May 1779, New-England Chronicle (Boston, MA), pg. 1:
NO society can long flourish without wise and just laws consented to, well known and well executed; where laws are wise, just and consented to, disobedience to them is political suicide.
By an independent freeholder
London: printed for Fielding and Walker
Avoid political suicide.
Safire’s Political Dictionary
By William Safire
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
political suicide An obviously unpopular action, likely to result in defeat at the polls; (Pg. 557—ed.) or, an action so obviously against popular opinion as to redound to the political figure’s benefit.
The phrase, sometimes expressed as “political hara-kiri” (often mispronounced “Harry Carey"), does not mean taking one’s own political life deliberately; it means, rather, taking an action that some other people feel will lead to political oblivion.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, December 03, 2010 • Permalink