The Eleventh Commandment
“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”
The eleventh commandment was a phrase used by Ronald Reagan to communicate the importance of not damaging your fellow Republicans. It was a very serious “joke” designed to encourage Republicans to support each other, or at least not to damage each other, and as a result, not to damage the Republican Party as a group.
The phrase really applies to members of any organization. However, it is particularly applicable to Republicans who have a notorious reputation for “eating their own” or no longer supporting a Republican has made a mistake or is in trouble of some kind.
Historically, Republicans have had a reputation for having a much higher standard for behavior than Democrats have had and are not considered to be as forgiving or supportive of flaws. Democrats have had a reputation for “circling the wagons” and supporting each other no matter what they do wrong.
This historical trend appears to be changing as the Democratic Party has begun to demand that particular standards are met or the party will turn on its own members.
This phrase is often used during the selection of nominees as a reminder not to damage any of the candidates so much that they are no longer electable in the general election.
Note: According to Judaism and Christianity, the 10 Commandments are the 10 foundational laws given by God to the Israelites. According to their religious texts, the laws were written on two stone tablets and brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses.