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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

Maxwell Shoustal


Maxwell Shoustal is a Deputy Executive Editor at the Tufts Daily. He is a sophomore studying political science. Maxwell can be reached at maxwell.shoustal@tufts.edu.

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On the nature of daylight

I absolutely hate waking up early. This semester, I am taking a grand total of one class before 10:30 a.m. — the first of my college career. The entire day before class, I dread the thought of having to wake up at such an ungodly hour. Coming from Los Angeles, I am quite used to having a plethora of sunny days throughout the year.

Recently constructed panels at the new border wall system project near McAllen, Texas
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Stop calling it a border crisis

As sensationalist media coverage on the so-called “border crisis” continues to ramp up, we must acknowledge that pushing this narrative spreads nothing but deceit and ill will. The media has dubbed the fairly significant number of migrants arriving at our southern border as a “crisis.” There are indeed many aspects of the situation that could be described as a crisis. The U.S.’ indefensible treatment of migrants at the border is exemplified by the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy that led to the separation of 5,000 children from their families. Trump’s border policy was guided by the notion that migrants would be deterred from entering the U.S. through the southern border if they knew that they would be met with a response of “zero tolerance.”

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The tragedy of Kevin McCarthy

Hyper-partisan politics have become very strongly entrenched in our nation’s political system. Still, some events manage to display just how shockingly fractured party loyalties are. The most recent example is the removal of Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House of Representatives. McCarthy was ousted as speaker by far-right members of his party after McCarthy negotiated with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown. For McCarthy, it was only a matter of time until he was removed as speaker, given that to appease the so-called “Freedom Caucus” enough to win the position in the first place, he reinstated a House rule that would require only one member to call for a vote for the speaker’s removal.

Jordan Peterson speaking with attendees at the 2018 Young Women's Leadership Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Hyatt Regency DFW Hotel in Dallas, Texas.
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Clean Your Room

As the new year of college begins, especially for those beginning their first year at Tufts, it may be helpful to remember Peterson’s principle of the importance of cleaning your room. He doesn’t exactly mean it literally; it’s meant to be a metaphor for taking control of your life. Before you solve any larger issues plaguing you, you can start by simply cleaning up your room.

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Ron DeSantis is no better than Donald Trump

As Ron DeSantis has risen to fame as the governor of Florida, many moderates and centrists have urged “Never Trumpers” and Democrats to support him in his bid to win the Republican nomination. Some Never Trumpers are indeed backing Ron DeSantis, including prominent ones like David French. Conor Friedersdorf, another moderate conservative, summed up the reasoning behind this well in an Atlanticarticle:he believes Ron DeSantis is not immoral or authoritarian, unlike Trump. The reasoning goes that while DeSantis might do objectionable things or he might support bad policies, he isn’t a bad person or anti-democracy like Donald Trump is. However, the Lincoln Project, a prominent group of anti-Trumpers, doesn’t support DeSantis. They’re right to do so and other Never Trumpers should follow their lead. While DeSantis has a more respectable veneer, a close examination of his record shows he is just as authoritarian and immoral as Donald Trump is.

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Trump’s indictment is not his end 

It has certainly been a liberal fantasy to see Donald Trump arrested ever since the 2016 election cycle. This possibility now looms imminent after Trump posted on Truth Social claiming he would be arrested on March 21, and the Manhattan District attorney’s office confirmed on Thursday that Trump was formally indicted by a New York grand jury with charges concerning his infamous Stormy Daniels hush money payments. The charges are quite complex, and they are very likely related to a $130,000 payment made by Trump’s then personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to keep porn actor Stormy Daniels from discussing an alleged affair she had with Trump. However, the more than 30 counts that Trump is expected to be charged with are currently sealed from the public. 

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Willow Project exposes urgent need for permitting reform

In January 2017, ConocoPhillips, the largest crude oil company in Alaska, proposed the Willow Project — an oil drilling project in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska that will take decades to complete and could produce up to 600 million barrels of oil. Since the proposition, the project has been seeking government consent, and President Joe Biden’s administration recently approved the project on a smaller scale than what was proposed. While Alaska’s Congressional delegation argues that the project will create jobs, boost domestic energy production and reduce the country’s reliance on foreign oil, environmentalist politicians such as Al Gore described the project as “recklessly irresponsible.”

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Christian nationalism is democracy’s greatest threat 

The Founding Fathers of the United States knew firsthand the dangers of religious belief dominating governmental doctrine. American colonists fled Europe to escape religious persecution, and religious freedom was enshrined as a constitutionally protected right. Of course, religious minorities, especially Muslims and atheists, have still faced discrimination in the United States. However, the goal of true religious freedom set forth by our founders is certainly worth pursuing, as freedom of thought is an integral principle of a democracy. 

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Turkish and Syrian governments have failed their people

Turkey and Syria recently experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the largest earthquake to have hit land since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Impacts were felt hardest in Turkey, where the country has experienced a death toll so far of more than 40,000, while the death toll in Syria has climbed to more than 5,800. Although there is little that countries can do to prevent earthquakes from happening in the first place, except for perhaps taking measures to slow the rate of climate change, it is imperative that governments act in their citizens’ best interests by preparing extensively.

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … weather balloon?

The recent polar vortex left many of us indoors, glued to our screens and inevitably following a bizarre news story developing in the midwest. One headline read, “Suspected Chinese spy balloon spotted over Montana,” which then evolved when Mao Ning, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, claimed that the flying object was a “civilian balloon” rather than a surveillance balloon; this claim is largely disproven by the technical features of the flying platform such as motors, propellers and a much larger diameter than a weather balloon that would fly at such high altitude. Most recently, an unidentified object was spotted flying over Alaska and another balloon over parts of Central and Latin America, with Ning admitting that the balloon flying over Central and Latin America was a “civilian airship.” The object flying over the coast of Alaska was shot down much more quickly than the first spy balloon; the U.S. military was made aware of its presence in the airspace on Thursday evening, and it was shot down midday on Friday. The spy balloon, which was first detected on Jan. 28, was shot down off the coast of South Carolina at the order of President Biden on Saturday. Will this lead to bullet holes permanently tattering U.S.-China relationships?

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