Is it the Democrat Or Democratic Party?

When the Democrat party is referred to in the media or by other commentators, it is often referred to as the Democratic party. In a bi-partisan way, both parties are democratic but one by name is the Democrat party. Is one way of saying it correct and one way incorrect?

Even if one is not a stickler for words, this presents an interesting question. Going to, and looking up the definition for democrat, it is:

* Democrat: a member of the Democratic party.

By the same token, the definition for democratic is:

* Democratic: a. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the Democratic party.

This is a not so subtle difference. A democrat is a member of the Democrat party, and democratic is exhibiting the characteristics of the Democratic party. More than that, democratic is “pertaining to or of the nature of democracy or a democracy.”

What is the unintentional point that is being made when the reference is made this way? It seems that on some level the Democrat Party is being raised to a level of “democratic” superiority, while the Republican Party is somehow less so.

To be clear, I am sure that in the majority of cases the choice of words or phrases are done in a completely innocent way, in that the term democratic rolls off of the tongue much more smoothly than democrat. Additionally, when one hears respected or long time political analysts using the term, it must correct. Right?

The point, although it may be trivial, is that terms and labels should be used correctly.