Donald Trump isn’t nice…

…says my five-year old niece. I was giving her a piggyback to the vegetable stand, which is what we do to pass the time in Barnegat Light, “down the shore” in New Jersey, on days when it’s too rainy for the beach.

When I offered to give her a piggyback, she said “that’s nice of you.” And then after she was safely perched on my back and I’d suggested that she hang onto my shoulders rather than my windpipe, she said “but pretty much everyone in the world is nice.” Pause. “Except for Donaldtrump. He is not nice. Right?” She said his name as one word, carefully enunciating each syllable.

Ah, youth. So impressionable and so unable to read: she couldn’t see the Trump bumper-stickers on the three cars that had just passed. I said “no, I don’t think he’s very nice. Why do you think he isn’t nice?”

Another pause, another delicate re-adjustment involving my windpipe.

“He’s going to build a wall between New Jersey and Mexico and my sister’s friend Lila likes to go to Mexico, so if he builds a wall, then she won’t be able to go to Mexico,” she said, definitive. She and Lila live outside of Princeton, in New Jersey. Where, apparently, the Trumpian blockade will begin.

“It’s not nice to build a wall?” I asked her, now that her fingers weren’t clutching my throat.

“No!” Pause. “And then he might build a wall between New Jersey and Illinois and then I wouldn’t be able to visit Grandma. That’s mean.”

“Yes,” I said, putting her down at the vegetable stand and rubbing my back. “Walls can be really mean.”

She reached into the cooler, asked if she could have a lemonade. I guess it’s hard work, being carried on piggyback for eight blocks.

“That’s why he’s mean. Other people don’t want walls. Just Donaldtrump.”

Out of the mouths of babes, people, the mouths of babes. He’s mean.

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