What makes someone a "real" democrat or republican?

I’ve seen this insult launched a lot at various candidates, that they aren’t a “real” democrat or republican. What makes you a “real” party member?

In my opinion, you have to be a registered member of the party and vote for the party’s candidates.

What makes someone a “fake” Republican or Democrat, if they profess to be one?

If an American says he is a Communist, does he have to prove that by becoming a registered member of the Communist Party and finding somewhere to vote for a Communist candidate? Is it not enough to just espouse the party principles?

Agreeing with the person making the accusation.

In my observation, said accusers have constructed their own definition of what a “real ___” should think/say/do and presented it as fact. It does not necessarily agree with the party’s historical positions or even with the majority of the party’s current members. But of course they don’t count because they’re not real whatevers. :dubious:

In my opinion it’s just a bunch of loudmouthed malcontents trying to assert that they alone know how things should be.

Both are just broad political clubs with a structure that can be described by a blob shaped bubble chart more than anything else. I would say a ‘real Democrat or Republican’ is anyone that officially belongs to the party, actively supports the party in general and votes for the party candidates except in unusual situations.

Thankfully, ‘real’ members of both parties are fairly rare by that definition except within the party establishments themselves. I think it it brain-dead to blindly pull a lever in a voting booth just because of a letter listed beside a candidate.

I couldn’t tell you what a ‘real Republican’ looks like today at all. Is it someone that is a true believer in Trump or someone that likes Paul Ryan or even Rand Paul? Those concepts aren’t very compatible. Likewise, the Democrats haven’t been a coherent group for decades but they still manage to form some odd coalitions.

Being a follower of Lyndon LaRouche.

Didn’t someone once quip, “If you hold the same position long enough, you will eventually be labeled a traitor?”

Anyway, I’ve found that liberals have oddly become more and more like conservatives - not in the sense of holding the same positions, but rather, arguing from the same type of indignation. 15 years ago, if someone blasted Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity, it was probably a conservative; today, when I read about someone blasting Bill’s marital infidelity, I cannot tell whether I’m reading the opinion of a liberal feminist or a conservative Baptist.

Broadly, I would say that the person embraces the core values of the party. The person might disagree on methodology, but s/he does agree with the party’s ultimate goals.

The terms RINO and DINO are thrown around a lot (…In Name Only). It’s usually because someone disagrees with a hot button issue. A Republican for gun control or a Democrat who wants the death penalty for instance. It’s as if everyone is supposed to be a robot programed with a specific agenda. Republicans who are moderate on social issues are often called RINO by the far right of the party. In reality both parties have a wide range of people who believe different things on different issues but pick the party that closest fits their view so there isn’t one real dem or pub.

When the Seventeen Clowns appeared frequently on stage early in the season, their FoxNews moderators had a litany of positions required of a “real Republican.” In particular they had to oppose all tax hikes and advocate the repeal of Obamacare. Since there was no discussion of why Obamacare was bad (it’s mainly the name, I think) or what to replace it with, this seemed a fitting synopsis of modern GOP “ideology.”

I helps if you understand that these are Scotsmen under discussion.

Well, I would think their actions and lifestyle should also probably reflect the values of the party. For example, it’s a bit odd to call yourself a member of the Communist Party while taking a lucrative trading job at Goldman Sachs.
With any organization, there is a tendency to encourage a certain uniformity of thought. The further you are from the center of that organizations core values, the more it becomes a question of whether it is easier to bring you back to the center or remove you entirely.

Many states do not have any notion of “registering” for a party. Hence, crossover votes happen a lot since you can choose which primary to vote in each time. (So note that voting several times on one party’s primary means little. A person might be crossing over to sabotage the other party.)

You can end up on party mailing lists, esp. if you donated a few bucks years ago to one candidate. But that never clearly indicated a party affiliation then, let alone so long afterwards.

Voting straight-party tickets (more or less) for several general elections in a row seems like the best indication of a party preference.

But to be a “real” party member might need to go deeper. Voting in primaries for the party’s “mainstream” candidate vs. voting for the fringe or flavor-of-the-month types.

The question is What makes someone a “propagandist”?

Propaganda Techniques…

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have traditionally cast a wide net and included people on the left and on the right. You could be a member of the party and not agree with all the party’s (or candidate’s) principles. Representatives and senators would work on legislation and were happy if they got some of what they wanted without giving away too much. No one thought there was any sort of ideological test: Nelson Rockefeller was as much a Republican as Everett Dirksen.

Beginning in the 70s, the Republicans began to become more ideological. Liberal republicans either left or were driven out, and the term RINO (Republican in Name Only) was applied to anyone who didn’t stick with the party line: strong military, opposition to abortion, more religion in public life, etc. The electorate for the Republican primaries was the far right of the party, and due to low turnout in the primaries, they chose the candidates, which forced even more moderate Republicans to move right. So it reached the point where Republicans has to check off certain boxes in their positions or they were not considered real Republicans.

The Democratic party has also moved in that direction, though more slowly. The left wing does push the party and note that the two major candidates for president this year were a centrist and a leftist (the Republican candidates this year view for who could be the furthest to the right). Other than a few die hards, most Democrats would have accepted either candidate.

Ultimately, your party is the one you identify with, but there are some in both parties who insist on an ideological purity test (much like the way the Russian Communist Party worked) and would rather lose an election with a candidate who meets it than win an election with a candidate that doesn’t check all the boxes.

I think it was Will Rogers who said: I’m not a member of any organized political party; I’m a Democrat. To call someone a RINO or DINO is to accuse them of claiming to be a member of the party but denying one of their most important core values. For example, claiming to be a Republican, but believing the wealthy don’t pay enough tax. Bush I was excoriated for raising taxes, mainly on the wealthy. He had violated St. Ronny’s most important core value.