Higher expectations required

Published 6:10 pm Monday, March 14, 2016

It’s time to vote again. Today represents a monumental day in which all citizens can exercise their right to vote. Many don’t. Primaries often have notoriously low voter turnouts, unless there’s something greater at stake, such as whether a $2 million bond referendum passes or a presidential candidate will be whittled down from a wider field.

Regardless of the race, there are few things that the voting public, indeed, the entire citizenry of the United States, should be able to expect from those running for office.

Voters should demand real answers to real questions, not accept platitudes or provoking rhetoric designed to distract and divide a voting public.

Voters should insist on a candidate’s thoughtful discourse about the real issues that face real Americans, whether it’s on a local or national scale.

Voters should expect dignity in a candidate, in the way that he or she behaves toward the voting public and toward other candidates, as well as how they approach the office they seek to win.

Voters should require respect for that office, respect for other candidates and respect for all voters who make up a candidate’s constituency.

Voters should demand all that and more.

Every now and then, anyone who is paying attention to what happens in local politics will stumble upon one of Beaufort County’s dirty little secrets: the flare-ups and insults, talking over one another and grandstanding known to occur on occasion in the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners’ meetings. There are a few who believe this type of behavior is amusing, that politics and political discourse is not about solving problems, but about one-upmanship; who’s got the best come-back or insult.

Rather than amusing, however, the behavior is insulting — to the ideals of respect and dignity.

Voters shouldn’t have to accept that affront on a local level. They shouldn’t have to do it on a national level.

This primary, this election, higher expectations of voters are required.