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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, February 25, 2024

Opinion


The Setonian
Guest

Op-ed: Why Djokovic isn't the GOAT despite Federer's departure

During his trophy acceptance speech at the 2017 Australian Open, newly crowned champion Roger Federer acknowledged the competitive nature of the match against longtime rival, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in a simple yet meaningful way: “Tennis is a tough sport, there are no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would have been happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa, really.”


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It's Happened Before: With social media, it actually hasn’t

Public speech has traditionally been, well, public. Before the advent of the internet and social media, if one wished to make their voice heard they merely had to find a printing press or, failing that, climb up onto a soapbox and speak. The great movements of history have often been sparked by public speech. Martin Luther, for instance, kicked off the Protestant Reformation by nailing (or maybe pasting) a pamphlet to a door; likewise, Thomas Paine made a significant contribution to the American Revolution with his pamphlet. Contemporary political campaigns also produce public speech in the form of speeches and posters. The beauty of all of this is that, at least in this country, it is free. Speech does not have to be popular to be heard. We can criticize our leaders and their policies; we can even criticize each other. We might find the speech of others horrendous or untrue. Yet their speech has an opportunity to provoke, challenge and perhaps even sway other minds.







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China's communist structure: Culture and the legacy of Confucianism

Since the inception of the communist party, China has had contentious relationships with major foreign powers, and its political structure has been under the scrutiny of the international community. Academics and politicians across the world have studied China in an attempt to understand its development. Much of the analysis on China is, however, conducted through the lens of international relations and political science. The heavily theoretical nature of this approach obscures a more intimate, cultural understanding of China. 


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The downfall of Twitter

Elon Musk and Twitter have been in a rocky relationship since April, when Musk first agreed to buy Twitter, until October, when he entered Twitter’s headquarters with a sink in his hands. Yeah, let that sink in.


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Ukraine at War: Kherson — the trauma of the liberated City of Sun

In a note accompanying her order, a client of a Ukrainian publishing company wrote, “I am now in occupied Kherson. I want to pre-order the book. [I am] attaching my address; if by the publication of the book we are still under occupation, I will find someone from the free region and change the address for the delivery.” After Kherson, a city in the southeast region of Ukraine, was liberated last week, the company posted the screenshot of the anonymous note on Facebook. Someone in the comments offered to pay for the book, but they were informed that the woman had already paid for it. Ukrainian publishers are again able to freely send books to Kherson. 


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COVID-19 mitigation measures could stop a terrible flu season in its tracks

Every winter season, the world experiences a months-long intensification of influenza outbreaks, commonly known as the flu season, that usually starts when the weather gets cold and lasts until the start of spring. The Southern Hemisphere typically experiences winter from June through September which allows countries like Argentina and Australia to serve as guides for what the Northern Hemisphere flu season will look like. Australia’s alarmingly severe 2022 flu season has caused concern for American epidemiologists heading into the start of flu season. 


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Politics and pastime intersect with the 2022 World Cup

The wait is over. Despite delays involving the COVID-19 pandemic and unusually hot weather, the world’s biggest sport is having its most important event. The FIFA World Cup will begin on Nov. 20 in Qatar. In the time leading up to the event, sports fans have followed a number of narratives surrounding the Cup: the USA’s return to the event, superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo chasing their first World Cup victories and France’s title defense amid concerns about early international play. One of the most pressing stories, however, doesn’t concern any of the players who will take the field.


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An argument for affirmative action

On Oct. 31, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments from lawsuits against both Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who are being sued over the legality of affirmative action. A Supreme Court ruling that affirmative action is unconstitutional would prevent institutions like Tufts from cultivating diversity within their student body.


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The End of the World Has Just Begun: The long peace ends

The security architecture of the world will soon be changed as the United States somewhat recedes from its role as guarantor of global security and challengers seek regional hegemony to take advantage of America’s apparent weakness. The two main trends I have pointed to, the fracturing of critical supply chains and global depopulation, are depleting resources across the globe, and subsequent increasing scarcity enforces the feeling by states of being forced to play their hands before they lose the power to do so.


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Ukraine at War: The siege of Mariupol

Will it ever be possible to not freeze from grief and tremble from anger at the mention of Mariupol? The name of the Ukrainian port city decimated by Russian forces triggers shivers all over the body. So do the words Azovstal, a demolished metal plant nearly twice the size of Midtown Manhattan which served as a shelter for civilians and the site of the city’s last stand, and Azov, the group of fighters that protected it, some of whom are still in Russian captivity.


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How America's institutions are failing us

Joe Biden is on top of the world. Or at least he should be. Throughout his presidency, Biden has been quietly making changes popular with the American people. Yet, polls show Republicans are highly likely to win back the House from Democratic control and are more likely than not to win the Senate. Given the popularity of Biden’s policies, our electoral system ought to be altered to better reflect the will of the people. 


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Debates are dwindling, but discourse is more important than ever

In an era of political polarization, the increasingly-rare swing voter becomes all the more important. Campaigns rush to promote their ideas as well as discredit the opposition’s. Of course, these goals have always been present, which is why the campaign debate has become one of the most honored traditions of each election cycle. However, debate numbers have been dwindling recently and some worry that this is the start of a scary new trajectory.


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New executive director of sustainability brings hope for positive change

On Oct. 24, Dano Weisbord became the new executive director of sustainability and chief sustainability officer, and “plans to further Tufts’ commitment to becoming a high education leader in sustainability and climate matters,” according to previous reporting by the Daily. As a past graduate of Tufts’ masters program in urban and environmental policy, and past associate vice president for campus planning and sustainability at Smith College, Weisbord’s leading efforts in sustainability are encouraging signs that his claim will hold true for the Tufts community. 


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It's Happened Before: A more violent normal

The late Roman Republic is, in many minds, synonymous with political violence, civil war and the erosion of republican values. Less remembered, however, is how it got there. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes, and neither did it — or at least its republican version — fall in a day. Thus the long path to Caesar began with a man who, unlike Caesar, never got a Shakespeare play: Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. Gracchus’ life and career are surprisingly unimportant in examining his impact. Suffice it to say that, after pursuing radical populist solutions to economic problems and obtaining political power through uncustomary methods, he incurred the wrath of a conservative faction of the Roman senate. Given his policies, this was unsurprising. What was surprising is how they stopped him: by gathering a mob to massacre him and his followers. Violence had, for the first time, become a political tactic, one that soon became irresistible.


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Ukraine at War: The dual purpose of the Ukrainian metro

Daily trips to the Park Street T station in Boston bring back memories of riding a train to get to Kyiv’s city center. First and foremost, I am also taking the Red Line, with the starting point in the suburbs. The T also goes above the ground, passing a river. The only difference is its name — the Charles, not the Dnipro.