Anyone who wants to be a Democrat can be a Democrat. There isn't a separate thing called a "Real" Democrat.
Democrats are nearly as varied as humans are. Some day, we'll figure that out.
We need all of them, not just the ones who agree with us on every issue, and we need Democrats who appeal to their potential constituents, not to some generalized concept of what we think every Democrat should be.
In light of Elizabeth Warren calling out some Sanders supporters* on Rachel Maddow's show this evening, some thoughts on division.
Dividing the party is a common refrain on DU, usually said in the context of some action that is sure to further "divide the party".
Here's the thing. To one candidate, there's one Democratic Party. To the other, it's, well...complicated.
To Joe Biden (and probably a solid majority of Dems), it's just the Democratic Party. Sometimes disorganized, sometimes frustrating, certainly, but one single entity. The big tent. Most of the other candidates see it the same way. Us vs. them simply means Dems vs. GOP/Trump. Pretty simple. One unified target. Want legislation passed? Here's your party.
To Bernie Sanders, it's not so simple. He identifies as an Independent most of the time, and his view of the party basically boils down to us and them, but in a different scope. "Us" is Sanders, like-minded candidates, and their various supporters. "Them" is, on a rotating basis, all other Democrats, the Democratic establishment, incumbent Democrats, "corporate Democrats" and/or whatever other vague labels are used to differentiate and divide. And, currently, Elizabeth Warren. The key word here is divide.
Some of his supporters seem to see things in a similar fashion. One side, Bernie's movement. The other, everyone else. Bernie's supporters are us. Bernie's "haters" are them. And that's just on the left/liberal/progressive/Democratic side.
The GOP is also a "them", but it's often lumped together with the Dem "them".
If one's worldview is already us vs. them in the context of the Democratic Party, what else is there to divide? One could assert that the division has little to do with party boundaries (a correct assertion), but it's a little disingenuous for those who created and nourished the clear separation in the first place to accuse others of fostering that division.
On a related note, who is more likely to unify the party - the candidate who already sees it as one party or the candidate whose entire political career and current strategy is based on the insistence that a division exists, probably always has, and probably always will?