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The day after Trump was elected was like any other day for me, an optimistic 16-year-old. I understood the country was divided over the election and that some of my family members would probably get into a squabble over Thanksgiving dinner. What I did not expect was that I was supposed to feel depressed. Teachers offered tissue boxes and extensions on assignments and posted signs pledging they stood behind “BIPOC” and “LGBTQ” students. They suggested we leave class to go to the counselor’s office if we needed “space.” At that age, I did not know where I stood politically. I did not own a house or vote or pay taxes. My grandfather’s family escaped from communist Russia and Nazi Germany. They had seen the consequences of large, tyrannical governments and believed that individuals should have the ultimate freedom over how they choose to live, pray or run a business. Those sentiments appealed to me. I didn’t like Trump as a person, but I didn’t mind some of his policies. What I didn’t know was that my peers expected me to be in a state of mourning when he became president, and if I did not appear that way, I would be considered a sociopath.

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