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Like many other Americans. I tuned in to the presidential debate on Sept. 29 not expecting much, but not expecting it to be that horrifically unproductive.

I feel that the statement made by Jake Tapper of CNN truly summed it up: “That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a trainwreck ... it wasn’t even a debate, it was a disgrace.”

I consider myself to be moderate: too Republican for the Democrats and too much of a Democrat for the Republicans, but I feel like if someone in either political party said that this debate did any good for the people of America (including the politicians involved), they are delusional.

I am not sure if any truly productive thing came out of that debate. The spectacle of President Donald Trump talking over former Vice President Joe Biden’s aversions to questions was already irritating, but add in Chris Wallace unsuccessfully trying to get a word in and you get something out of a third grade classroom. In a documentary I watched recently, “The Family,” Trump was described as a wolf and that description feels fitting to bring up in this scenario because he kept barking all night. Even Wallace could not get him to be quiet and allow an actual debate to occur.

This led Wallace to make a good point of the fact that Trump and his campaign team had agreed to the terms beforehand, which Trump was then not following. The two minutes meant to be given to the speaking candidate were supposed to go uninterrupted, but even the moderator could not make Trump give Biden his time. The entire debate I was waiting for Trump to get in trouble for badgering the witness, and when Trump mentioned that he brought back football I was truly waiting for the broadcast to be interrupted and then told that the last four years was a social experiment and that we had all just experienced the biggest prank of all time.

The president’s supporters cite his actions as tenacity and a go-getter attitude, but I truly just see it as someone who cannot deal with not getting their way and will strong-arm anyone who tries to tell him otherwise. It does not make him seem bold and strong; it makes him seem classless and, to be quite frank, annoying. He would have been much better off to have stated the points he was making in a respectful manner. That doesn’t mean not debating, but I have seen middle schoolers debate more well-mannered than our current president. If that does not pose any issue to you, I implore you to examine the fact that this is something that Trump does not seem to care about — he seems proud of it.

If that was not enough to convince you that Trump is one of the most classless politicians, he brought up Biden’s son. If you in some way are able to make that OK (as Biden did not respond with similar instances that Trump’s family has had) you have to see the idiocy behind attacking your opponent’s family. Not their politics, their actions, but their personal life. Even if you support President Trump, I will try to reason that this is not a smart political move. You attack ideas and actions taken by your opponent. Going after your opponent’s family is not only messy and classless, but it lessens your other points as you are now going to be seen as simply rude and crass.

Now from all the aforementioned you may think that somehow Biden won. Well no. It seemed very clear to me from the beginning that Biden had a few talking points (when Trump decided to stop berating him) that he kept coming back to. I am not saying that that is necessarily a bad thing, but I felt as if he was not really thinking on the spot and kept reverting to the key points of go and vote, and that Trump had been seen golfing during large issues that we have faced. While they are not fundamentally bad points, it truly just felt as if he was reading from a script.

There were also times that Biden clearly diverted and would not answer the question at hand — something that is key when debating a topic. Biden would retreat by looking straight into the camera and trying to appeal directly to the American people. Something that would be good if it did not come off as disingenuous and planned.

In conclusion — nothing productive came of this debate. A forum that is supposed to allow the American people to gain more insight into the people who want to run the country turned up null and left us with more questions than answers. If I wanted to watch this kind of bickering, I would find the nearest divorcing couple arguing over a child’s custody. In this analogy, the American people are the child and our two parents are being ridiculous and we are over it. We don’t want to pick a house to spend the weekends at; we are already ready to leave for college.

I hope that the next debate is more informative, but more importantly I hope that the next debate is actually helpful to the citizens of this country instead of becoming a laughing stock. Until the next debate, I will be enjoying that football that our current president so graciously brought back — thank goodness for that and go Browns.

FlipSide is the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s teen publication. You can read more stories at