Here’s what the news media can do to help reduce the nastiness between elected officials and their constituents because of party politics:
Discontinue the Associated Press style guide practice of recording the party affiliation of an elected official with his/her name. For example, don’t write the name as Senator or Congressman or Representative Jefferson Smith followed by a “D” or an “R.”
Instead, why not identify the elected official simply as Jefferson Smith (State Senator, Washington)? That way we we focus on the individual and not the party label.
We may pay more attention to the officials’ words and what they stand for for without bias for the party they represent.