Editorial: Speak for yourself — during the election, and always, weigh words you say and hear carefully

Last month, this newspaper recommended civility during this election season as it was just beginning.
As we are on the verge of October and the height of election fray, we again express the hope that those running as well as their supporters continue to debate with civility.
Unfortunately, it does not always seem to be the case.
Regardless of the tone of election letters, it is also important for residents and readers of this newspaper to see beyond them and take the time to learn about each of the candidates running now. Not just for top spots, but for all important offices. It is wonderful to have an active letter campaign, but letters shouldn’t be the only influence on our individual vote.
Nor, quite frankly, should party. Naturally, those of us that choose to have a party affiliation do so because it syncs most with our personal, fiscal and moral value system. However, party shouldn’t ultimately determine our vote regardless of that affiliation.
In the next few weeks, The Darien Times will be publishing question and answer profiles with the candidates for first selectman and for the Board of Selectmen. Take the time to read these profiles and get to know your candidates. You may even learn something new about those who are returning incumbents.
If you have suggestions for questions for these candidates, send them our way to [email protected].
Toward the end of October, we will also be publishing the League of Women Voters’ voting guide, which is an extremely informative tool done annually by this group of hard-working Darien women.
We can’t mandate civility in our letters or comments. Our platform is to be the bulletin board upon which Darien residents are entitled to share their opinions — the good, the bad and the ugly. We reserve the right to edit or remove false or libelous claims — other than that, we can simply hope that our readers and writers choose the high road. But good or bad, the commentary we receive and publish is ultimately the reflection of the varied tapestry that defines the active and passionate community we serve.
A reminder to proceed with civility is that once the election is over, and the dust has settled, we are all still going to be neighbors, shoppers downtown, coaches on the field, fellow class parents, and maybe even one to lend a hand on the side of the road with a flat tire.
Darien is too small of a town to hold and create grudges — especially when in the end, most of us all want the same thing. That is, a thriving community to for us and our families to call home.
To that end, voters should be sure to educate themselves about who they want leading that town going forward — making that decision not based on popularity or party, but on the people running for election.