The First Presidential Debate: CASH ME OUSSIDE, HOW BOUT DAH?!

It was the moment I had been waiting for: Brian had challenged me to a game of tether-ball at recess, and I could not wait to crush him. Brian thought he ruled the playground; he would scoff at other kids as he stood next to the tether-ball pole, daring anyone to try and beat him. After two years of observing Brian, I realized Brian had a weakness: pride. Brian was so arrogant, so quick-tempered, that he won the matches before they began by getting into the head of his opponent. The only exception to Brian's clear-cut victories is when he and his opponent would quit in the middle of the match to have a good old-fashioned fight! Brian was outraged when I told him that I would beat him in tether-ball that morning, he had beaten me before, and no one beat big-bad-Brian, he thought I had lost it. I remember looking over my shoulder during class and seeing Brian's red face; he was angry, angry that I had the nerve to declare victory over him – didn't I know who he was?

The bell rang; it was time to face Brian; no sooner had we emerged from the school doors did Brian begin taunting me – he could hardly wait to start talking -but I was ready. I took a different approach than what I had observed other kids take; instead of fighting back, I just agreed with whatever Brian said. At first, Brian was confused, but then he was RATTLED! By the time we got to the tether-ball pole, I had heard something I had never heard from Brian before SILENCE! He had no clue how to respond to my tact, and yes, I beat Brian that day in tetherball.

President Donald Trump was Brian in last night's debate. Trump had defeated much more competent opponents, and here was an older man who thought he could go toe to toe with the champ! Trump was outraged before he even opened his mouth last night, and it is this author's opinion that his opponent's played into his rage. Before the debate, Trump wanted Biden to be checked for any hearing devices that might give him an advantage by having other people tell him what to say during the debate; Trump's request was denied. As the debate was beginning, Biden adjusted his sports coat, and wire could be seen, a wire that he swept under the coat as he adjusted it (this never happened again during the debate). Trump saw this adjustment and could be seen leaning over and looking at Biden with squinting eyes, it looked like he wanted to call him out, but the moderator quickly redirected Trump with a question.

This author would like to suggest that the revelation of Biden's wire was not an accident, nor was the fact that it happened at the beginning of the debate; it was a strategy. Biden's campaign understands that Trump's greatest weakness is his pride. Unfortunately for Biden, he could not maintain his composure enough to capitalize on Trump's behavior. If Biden would have remained calm, refrained from calling Trump a "clown" twice, refrained from telling Trump to "shut-up man", Biden would have emerged victorious in last night's debate. Instead, as Brian (Trump) hurled his insults, Biden fought fire with fire, and the entire debate unraveled into a playground dispute between two old men.

This author did a survey via Social Media after the debate, asking friends to describe the debate in as few words as possible. This author's most common response from friends on the left and the right was: "embarrassing". Trump and Biden forgot that it's not about either of them, it's about the American people. Biden seemed to grasp this a bit better as he regularly spoke directly into the cameras and talked to the American people like they were there, but his childish name-calling and anger got the better of him. Trump did not come out any better; his narcissism was on display for the world to see; unfiltered, and not even trying to masquerade as concern for the American people most of the time.

Last night's debate did not end, it imploded; like two kids playing tetherball who end up quitting the game to fight each other, that was what we witnessed last night. We were supposed to hear plans and policies; instead we heard insults and name-calling. As an American citizen, this author was embarrassed along with his friends, how could these two men be the best leaders we have to choose from to run our country? As a Christian, however, I feel like this is God's way of getting our eyes off of man to redirect our focus back to Him.

Scripture indicated that King Saul was the tallest and most handsome man in all of Israel (see 1 Samuel 9), but God never wanted Israel to look to a human-ruler to lead them, but simply to look to Him. Under Saul's administration, Israel began to look to both God and man for salvation - but soon, they began looking to a man more than God. This author would submit that America is experiencing the same thing Israel did three-thousand years ago. America was a nation that declared: "In God We Trust" but has followed Israel in her error by unofficially changing this declaration to: "In God AND Man We Trust" in the 20th century, and finally "In Man We Trust" in the 21st century. This author believes God is allowing America to see what it is like to have two depraved men, arrogant and weak, to rule a nation. America needs a leader who understands their weakness and therefore looks to God for strength!

America does not need a Trump (Brian/Saul) or Biden; she needs a David to be her leader. David was always there, but he was invisible to the human eye because of his insignificant stature. Unless and until America stops looking with her natural eyes for a billionaire-tycoon like Trump or a life-long politician like Biden, we can expect to see more of the same in the debates to come between these two men.

Only God can change our hearts; therefore, as Christians, we need to cry out to God to change our hearts and the hearts of the American people. That America would become one nation under God again, and a nation who says without any shame: In GOD We Trust! Then we will have men who will lead this nation while exemplifying humility towards the country and respect towards their opponents, instead of belligerent old men eloquently declaring: "CASH ME OUSSIDE, HOW BOUT DAH?!"

John Carosiello is a pastor, author, and speaker who graduated with honors from Liberty University with a Masters of Divinity. For more information, please visit

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