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The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Simplifying the State Episode 8

In today’s episode, we discuss the upcoming Biden-Trump debate, Biden’s new tariffs on China, and the latest developments in the Trump trial, including Michael Cohen’s testimony and cross-examination.

Adam (00:00.309)

Welcome to Simplifying the State. I’m Adam Watson. 

Nicholas (00:03.054)

I’m Nicholas Perrin.


On today’s show, Biden and Trump agreed to debate. Biden imposes new tariffs on China, the testimony and cross-examination of Michael Cohen, and what that means in the Trump trial. 

Adam (00:28.341)

Biden and Trump have agreed to two debates, one on June 27th and the other in early September. So, what do you think of this? How do you think it could impact the US election moving forward? Will it be a big deal, or will it just be a sideshow?

Nicholas (00:34.798)

It’s tough to say, but drawing examples from the last debates in the 2020 election, they were very chaotic. There was not much regulation, and it didn’t do a whole lot to impact the election. But now, Trump is calling on more nationalistic ideas, and I think it’s possible.

He’ll bring that up in the debate, and it’ll get even fiery. Some people might draw on that and think better of him in that way.

Adam (01:17.621)

It touches on what you said about the disorderly part of the 2020 debate. It was very chaotic, and people who watched it pointed out how chaotic it was, leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths. More so for Trump because he seemed less presidential, less confident, more so hurling grenades over the fence metaphor; in debating, you have two ways you can go. You can go the way that Trump and other people do, which is just to keep throwing stuff, throwing accusations, and throwing this campaign research against your enemy, you’re opposing candidate, or you can be a centered collective focus just on the issues type stuff. I feel it could work in Biden’s favor when it comes to the age question because Trump and his allies portray him. Fox News and stuff that, as a senile old person, doesn’t know what’s going on. But usually, after the big stuff, the State of the Union stuff, people feel less confident that he is old or less worried about his mental acuity because they see he’s sharp, quick on his feet, and some of those. And so I feel The Trump team is setting expectations low by continuing this propaganda that he is senile and old and doesn’t know what’s going on. And so I feel if Biden overperforms and those expectations, which he usually does because it’s set so low, that will probably help with the age question.

Adam (03:42.933)

Moving on, Biden imposed new tariffs on Chinese products, including a 100% tariff on Chinese-made EVs, and what seems to be increasing tensions between Beijing and Washington. What do you think? Are we looking at a possible trade war here with China?

Nicholas (03:58.83)

I don’t believe so. With previous tariffs and this one, China’s circumvented them by making 90 % of the product in China, shipping it to another country to finish, saying that it was made in that other country, and then shipping it to the US, thus subverting the tariffs. And China didn’t lash out too hard when those tariffs were made, so I don’t think they’ll lash out this time.

Adam (04:26.965)

Right, okay. Yeah, not only just looking at these tariffs on their own, I think we also have to look at tariffs Trump made during his term where, and on the campaign trail, Biden heavily criticized this. Although I do think there is a notable difference. Trump’s tariffs were more widespread and not focused on any specific energy, but…

Biden’s tariffs have him focusing on EVs, solar cells, batteries, and other products that are starting to be made in the US more and returning to the US, creating jobs. So I feel he’s looking at this not only as protecting US economic interests but also from a political angle, where he’s thinking, okay, these are jobs that the CHIPS Act will bring back.

And so I need to protect these to help get more union workers on my side. And so I’m going to implement these tariffs. This is not to say that the tariffs are probably not justified. But I do think there’s not only an economic side to this. I also think there’s a bit of a political side to this. The big news of the week. Michael Cohen delivered testimony to the court on Monday in Donald Trump’s trial.

And on Tuesday, the defense cross-examined him. What were the main things that you found in the testimony and cross-examination?

Nicholas (06:05.07)

Well, the main one is Cohen said that he wants Trump to get convicted. That’s pretty significant, I feel.

Adam (06:22.453)

Right. I also think the testimony he gave was pretty damning in the trial. He said that Trump directed him to make the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels to cover this up because he thought it was going to hurt him in the election. However, the cross-examination, I feel, was something very important because the cross-examination, based on what I’ve seen, Seemed less like trying to dispute the fact that Mike the testimony that Michael Cohen gave Felt more like trying to attack him personally attack him trying to get in the lash out to make him seem less trustworthy to the jury. And so I think that didn’t work because, from what I’ve read, Cohen kept his demeanor and stuff like that. And so I feel like

That strategy probably did not pan out well for Trump. Speaking of the trial, real quick, some of Trump’s possible frontrunners for vice president showed up to the courthouse on Monday to help form a cheering row. You had Doug Burgum.

JD Vance and other people, including Mike Johnson and Vivek Ramaswamy, are the people running for president. And so I feel this is showing a more centralized thing in the Republican Party Coming together behind that one candidate 

Adam (08:10.453)

Thank you so much for listening to Simplify in this state. We’ll see you next time.

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Adam Watson
Adam Watson, Reporter
Adam Watson is a freshman and new reporter for Globe this year. His interests encompass history, politics, and video games.
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