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Politics

What Drives A Democrat Crazy? Saying They Belong To 'Democrat Party'

President Donald J. Trump
Paul D. Williams/White House
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President Trump always calls the Democratic Party the Democrat Party.

Earlier this month, the chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel was in Charlotte to announce the dates for the 2020 RNC.

Her speech was also a thank you to the mostly Democratic Charlotte City Council, which had agreed to host President Trump’s re-nomination — in spite of hearing intense opposition from constituents.

But in celebrating bi-partisanship, she said something that, for Democrats, is like fingernails on the chalkboard.

“And Charlotte will be joining an elite class of cities — only 11 — that have hosted by the Democrat and Republican National Conventions," McDaniel said.

But it’s not the Democrat National Convention — it’s the Democratic National Convention.

And it’s not the Democrat Party, it’s the Democratic Party.

“I only hear it from Republicans. And I take it as a sign of disrespect, that they are trying to offend the Democratic Party," said Wayne Goodwin, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. "The only time you had a Democrat Party is when you had Dixiecrats, who were eventually Republicans. And I take it as a sign of offense and disrespect.”

Vi Lyles, Charlotte’s Democratic mayor, was on stage with McDaniel for the RNC announcement. She's also bothered by people saying "Democrat Party."

“This has become one of the parts about what’s dividing us as a nation and, as well, how people seek to take words and provide a meaning that we have never heard before," Lyles said. "I think people are trying to personalize Democrat versus Democratic Party because that way, it becomes a personal belief versus a party of people."

Some conservatives, like talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, have refused to say Democratic Party for years.

During George W. Bush’s State of the Union Speech in 2007, the president took it mainstream. The president congratulated the members of the new "Democrat majority."

At the time, there was a minor stir about it and the press asked the White House about Bush dropping the two letters. The president said he didn’t realize he did it and that it was an oversight.

Fast-forward to 2018. In the GOP, almost everyone says Democrat Party.

The president says “Democrat Party” so often that it seems he has convinced himself that’s actually the name — and that changing it to the Democratic Party would be a better fit. Here’s what he said at the White House about it last week.

"I never say the Democratic Party. You know, their word is Democrat," Trump said. "But when you say Democratic it's much nicer-sounding, right? They should change their name, actually. But I'm not going to tell them that. I don't want to — see all those cameras? I don't want to tell them that. But — but they say the Democratic Party. It's not that."

Roderick Hart, a professor of College of Communication at the University of Texas, said that saying “Democrat Party” from a grammatical point of new is "one, ugly and two, ignorant."

But he added that politics has its own norms that are "often one, ugly and two, ignorant."

Robin Hayes, the chairman of the state’s Republican Party, said in an interview that questions about Democrat versus Democratic is “over his head."

“The Democrat Party is the Democrat Party,” Hayes said.

Hayes is not right, but for much of the Republican Party he is.