News Editor

Stephen Milligan is the news editor of The Walton Tribune. He lives in Monroe and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

Following Tuesday night’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and challenger and former vice president Joe Biden, there were a lot of criticisms of what was widely perceived as a disaster of an evening.

People criticized Trump for constantly interrupting his opponent. People criticized Biden for side-stepping questions. People criticized both for constant name-calling, as well as various half-truths and blandishments trotted out at various points. Even moderator Chris Wallace couldn’t escape criticism, as he was attacked from all sides for losing control of the three-ring circus that broke out on the debate stage.

Yes, there were a lot of negatives to lament Tuesday night.

The worst news of all, though?

There are supposed to be two more of these nightmares.

The presidential debate has long been a part of the campaign trail for incumbents and hopefuls, a chance for them to express their beliefs and platforms, to fight back against opponents’ attacks and to give the public a look into what might make them the best choice to enter the Oval Office as its intended occupant for the next four years.

That’s not what we got Tuesday night. Instead, we got two men bickering like children over a toy one had and the other wants, while their overwhelmed caretaker tried and failed to soothe their temper tantrums.

There were no winners Tuesday night, believe me. And despite discussions about refining the rules before the next debate, I don’t expect much better.

The real question is, who actually wants two more of these? Who thinks they have any value?

After four years of utter division, all but the most recalcitrant and the most indecisive know exactly where they stand on this election. Not everyone is a fan of Biden or Trump, but by this point they certainly know which one they prefer of the two, at the very least.

What will we gain from letting these two scream at each other on two more occasions? Is someone hoping maybe one of them, at their age, can scream themselves into a heart attack and decide the contest early? I doubt it would work, as supporters of any one candidate would rather vote for the dead than the other candidate, most likely.

Early voting starts soon and some will vote without watching another debate, regardless. But the circus goes on, apparently.

Here’s hoping the children — I mean candidates — can behave better next time.

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