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My Soviet school built a mesh fence around its yard. Every week, tardy kids who wanted to cut through the yard tore a hole in the fence. Every weekend, the administration fixed it. But the hole would reappear the morning after. This went on forever. I wish U.S. President Donald Trump, the fence builder of the West, had gone to my school.

The Soviet Union was a country of fences, barriers and walls. Everything was prohibited, locked and guarded. Warning signs were phrased in no uncertain terms: “Do Not Enter: Death!” “Strangers Are Forbidden.” “The Border Is Closed.”

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