Be the watchdog

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It was arguably the most-talked-about subject on Monday: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went head to head for the first bipartisan debate of election season.

Between talk of tax returns and stamina, unless a person is a diehard supporter of Trump or Clinton, many others were left wondering how to choose a candidate when neither seems appealing. Many people agree that in one way or another, this election is not an ideal situation.

However, the more important question here is: What does all this mean for Beaufort County?

Residents should acknowledge that it is vital — now more than ever — to stay informed of what is happening during election season at all levels. Just as thousands in the area tuned in for Monday night’s debate, the same attention should be given to state- and local-level elections.

If mistruths and distrust can plague the campaigns on the presidential level, the same can happen closer to home if people are not willing to question the lines being fed to them.

Sure, it’s not nearly as exciting to talk about property taxes or zoning laws, but those are the types of issues that will directly affect Beaufort County. It wouldn’t be right for local voters to take what candidates or elected officials say for granted. That type of apathetic mentality can cause a community to quickly go south. Informed, involved voters are the cornerstones of successful democracy at all levels.

Over the next several weeks, don’t dismiss a political topic as overwhelming or boring. Delve into what is being said and make sure it’s meeting the standards. No matter how painful, tune into the presidential-election bickering, and by the same token, pay attention to the punches thrown right here.

The lesson to learn is that paying attention at national, state and local levels is the fundamental responsibilities of the voters. Be the watchdog.