How Trump Changed Childhood


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By

Hinda Mandell and M. Scott Mahaskey

Two years ago, in advance of the midterm elections, I interviewed eight families across the United States who’d had babies on or within days of November 8, 2016, the date of the previous presidential election. I had given birth to an Election Day baby boy myself, and I wanted to know how other parents like me were coping with raising young children during this unusual period in our nation’s history. At the time, many of the families expressed uncertainty about the country, but their kids were just toddlers, barely talking, and happily tumbling through childhood.

I could never have imagined that the world would change as it has in the 730 days since that story was published. With the global pandemic, the resulting economic upheaval and the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests—plus, the next presidential election careening at us—I wanted to know how these parents and children were coping, and what their experiences might tell us about the moment America’s families are living through right now. How had their lives changed? Had their politics changed, too? And how were their kids handling it?


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