Is there a practical reason to pick party over country?

When politicians are making decisions, is there a logical/practical reason for basing their decision on what’s best for their political party over what’s best for the country?

Because they think it’ll help them get elected and/or will get them more campaign donations.

To add to what **Snarky_Kong **said, the ability to get elected can be good for the country long-term, even if the immediate consequences cause some short-term pain. Say your long-term goal is single-payer healthcare, and you believe that the only way that will happen is if the Democrats are in power. You might make some decisions that are better for the party than for the country, knowing that ultimately they will help reach your goal.

And of course, on many issues the parties disagree strongly about what is best for the country, so a decision that looks to one party like it’s ignoring the good of the country may look to the other party like the best choice for the country.

Most people believe the policies promoted by their parties are good for America- that’s why they joined those parties in the first place.

Hence, when prominent leaders of those parties are enmeshed in scandals, it’s natural to reason “Our side is STILL better than the other side.”

Humans are naturally tribalistic, that is why caring about ‘your country’ matters to us in the first place. It is also why caring about your race, or ethnic group, or religion, etc. also matters.

In the US, we’ve become very tribalistic about politics so people are just taking that tribalistic urge they used to feel about country and using it for party instead.

So its really not that weird to pick party over country. They are both forms of insular tribalism.

As to what personal benefits you get? Political parties are rich with cash and connections. So if you are loyal to the party you can get a ton of money and amazing job opportunities.

Also, for a lot of politicians there is no real risk of losing a general election to the opposition party. The only real risk they face is losing a primary to someone else within the party who is more ideologically pure. So that is also a factor. A democrat in an urban area or a republican in the rural south isn’t going to lose the general election to the opposition party. But they can easily lose a primary to someone who is more ideologically extreme. So there is the self interest factor of aligning with your party, it keeps your primary voters happy so they do not primary you from the right or left.

Your question is actually backwards.

Presumably, “party” is a substitute for “self.”

Is there a practical reason to pick country over self? Give me one.

If you think the other side is actually bad for the country then you are willing to harm your country a bit to ensure that the greater evil of the other side being in power is prevented.

Again, what makes you think ANYBODY has ever consciously chosen party over country?

EVERYONE thinks that his party’s platform represents what’s best for the country. If you DIDN’T believe your party’s platform was best for America, you wouldn’t BELONG to that party!

Can the OP give us an example of someone consciously choosing what he knows is bad for America, just because it serves his party’s interests? Mind you, the example has to be clear cut, with no ambiguities.

I agree with this post. I was also trying to think of unambiguous examples of people choosing country over party. Maybe the #NeverTrumpers?

I’m a #NeverTrumper, and I vote for Evan McMullin. But in this case, it’s because I regard Trumpism as ALIEN to conservative Republican principles.

I wasn’t abandoning my beliefs in voting for someone else, I was sticking to them.

And when you did that, were you thinking “screw the country, I’m saving the Republican party” or “screw the Republican party, I’m saving the country” or “this will be better for both the country and the Republican party”?

I’m not the OP, but people supporting Trump must know he his bad for America. Potentially very bad. And he’s not conservative and probably not much of a Republican. However, he does serve the party’s interests. Currently, at least.

I suspect that most of the people who voted for him think he’s good for America, or at least less-bad than Hillary.

I’m going to submit that people rarely vote for ‘country’. Some people may believe that self interest is better served by taking a broader, utilitarian view that a rising tide lifts all boats and that we all share common self interest (progressives could be described this way, for instance), but even so, it’s not really altruistic. It’s a vote for the self all the same. People don’t vote for the party; they vote for themselves and they assume that a party represents their self-interests better than the other party or the rest of the ‘country’. There are times, however, when a person can look at a party that represents its self-interest on one hand and realize that it’s also supporting a lot of other shit that outweighs whatever self-interest they’d normally support. I think this probably describes how Never Trumpers felt about Trump. They didn’t switch teams; they felt like the team somehow morphed into something else.

I’m talking about Congressional Republicans. They should be able to identify a dangerous idiot when they see one.

They did. Her name was Hillary.

I can accept that Hillary was a seriously flawed candidate and I get why a lot of voters were turned off by her. But I still cannot understand how any modestly-educated person on the right can seriously say with a straight face that they’re not having second thoughts about their vote. Set aside the obvious ethical questions surrounding his conduct for a moment and consider how he has endangered American standing in the world to the point where it may already be injured beyond repair. Consider the fact that his most meaningful accomplishment to date is getting a conservative appointed to the bench, and I’ve got news for you: the Senate was going to see to it that this happened anyway, so you can’t really give credit to Trump for choosing a right wing judge. He still has yet to pass any meaningful laws beyond his symbolic executive orders – some of which are going down in flames in the courts. This despite the fact that he has the GOP strongest grip on congress and on the federal government in the history of the party’s existence.

In one sense, I suppose the Republicans (and Bernie Bros) do have a point about Hillary: she would have been a paralytic administration if for no other reason than the bat shittery of the opposition. We’d still be without a 9th justice and McConnell would probably be talking about downsizing the court altogether had she been elected with Repubs controlling the Senate. “Evil Hillary” is the product of GOP fiction. The kind of fiction they’ve been selling to people the past 30 years. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when a lot of these people who’ve been voting for this right wing folk tale start realizing what kind of miserable shit reality they’re really living in.

I think you’ve supported the OP’s premise with that post

I thought her Syrian no-fly policy was nuts. Like, potentially world-ending-in-fiery-catastrophe levels of insanity.

I think Hillary would have been bad for America and bad for the world. How did I support the OP’s premise?