Now that Donald Trump, a registered Democrat as recently as 2009, has taken over the national and Ohio Republican Parties, old fashioned Republicans crying for daylight between them and the modern-day Donald are adopting silly semantics to confuse and misdirect.

Calling themselves conservatives, betting it confuses enough to hide behind what they’ve always thought and fought for and who they’ve always voted for, is the new razzle-dazzle ruse in the era of Trump fake news.

For all your Republican friends – and even I, believe it or not, have some – ask them to distinguish in meaningful terms the difference between thinking and acting on traditional Republican issues like lower taxes, less debt and deficits, regulating workers rights and women’s rights and privatizing social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and who they vote for to implement these issues, versus where or how a conservative would differ?

How does a fiscal and social conservative square this with their adoration of the magi of CEOs, and forcing government, which patriots fought for to operate in the public interest, to serve as handmaidens to the greedy? Government as an original sin was articulated by President Ronald Reagan, who famously said government wasn’t the solution, it was the problem. Federal government is bad to the bone, so some say drain the swamp so Jefferson’s notion of the best government is government closest to the people becomes real.

The lexicon is expanding with Orwellian words puzzles like “fake news” and “alternative facts.” They are raging, with media totally ill-equipped to distinguish between the two, because doing so would mean informing readers with informed writing that lays bare the false equivalency and outright hypocrisy conservative Republicans think will enable them to be as they always have been, while hiding behind an amorphous label that’s wrung wrong throughout the rise of modern nations.

Word jumbles are a favorite of Ohio’s outgoing, lame-duck governor John Kasich, who first failed in 2000 and then again last year to win the hearts and minds of national GOP voters. Kasich is a burr under Trump’s saddle, pitting the erratic New York billionaire against a sanctimonious phony who’s as establishment Republican as they come, and who thinks broadcasting he’s a conservative – a class of regressive that have done much for a century or more to cater to the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless – is a political port of convenience.

There is no difference between establishment Republicans and Republicans who call themselves conservatives. If we were still governed by conservatives, we wouldn’t have the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressives would not have made the strides forward they did with protecting children and common workers. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would have never happened. Weekends would be mere dreams, as would vacation time and worker benefits.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fiscal and social conservative who ran and lost in 2012 as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick, says the big job for Republicans next year is to tackle “entitlement reform,” which is code for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, three modern-day social programs that have helped countless millions live their retirement years devoid of poverty and sickness.

Republican versus conservative? Is there really a difference?