The first presidential debate is this coming Monday night, Sept. 26.

Living under a rock would not prevent you from knowing the two major party candidates running for office -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

By now you might be sick of seeing them being talked about, quoted and speaking on TV.

However, if there has been one thing lacking from this presidential election season so far, it is talk about where the candidates stand on most issues.

We know about emails and bankruptcies, illness and tax returns, and how well each candidate can insult the other. However, beyond their thoughts on immigration, refugees and guns, some voters may not firmly understand where these two candidates stand on most issues.

Which is why the debates are important.

So please, watch the debates. And, if you are tired of the "biased media" saying your preferred candidate is awful for whatever reason, play a game during the debates.

It's an easy game. All you need is a pen and paper.

Put the candidates' names at the top, and below will be a few categories where all you have to do is put a check every time they do it.

Category 1: Did the candidate answer the questions? I don't care if you didn't like the answer, but did the candidate answer the question about economics by talking about an economic plan? Or did they just talk about how their opponent's idea about economics is wrong, never mentioning what their idea is?

Category 2: Did the candidate stay on topic? The other trend I've noticed is candidates ignore the question and go off on a random tangent. Did you ask about education? Well, I've got this great story about Bob from Utah who is not well educated and somehow the story ends with talks about how foreign policy needs to improve.

Category 3, though sadly this one shouldn't need to exist: How many times did one candidate insult the other? I'm not talking about saying their opponent's idea is bad; that's what adbate is all about. I'm saying give the candidate a check every time they say the other is the "MVP of Isis," or call the candidate's followers a "basket of deplorables." By definition, these two are adults: Clinton is 68 years old, Trump is 70. Yet both, on multiple occasions, have resembled 8-year-olds having a fight on the playground.

When it's all over, look your sheet over. And then when the pundits analyze the debate, and they say one candidate did worse than the other one, your sheet will probably confirm what they are saying.

At the very least, I ask people use their own judgement and values when picking a candidate. Don't let that funny meme or a cleverly worded quote you saw on social media sway you. Look for the person you want representing all Americans when leading this country and negotiating with the world.


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