WATCH: Fifth Graders Say Trump Is A Bully And A Bad Role Model For Them

Is there a word for that feeling you get when a thought that passed through your mind recently is immediately confirmed? When I was writing up our GOP debate roundup, I mentioned that I was surprised that a group of people who supposedly believe in “family values” so fiercely, would not be horrified by the idea of having someone like Donald Trump be a role model for their children.

Well, they may not be horrified–but kids certainly are. The Associated Press assembled a group of 5th graders in Arlington, Virginia to talk about the “bullying” between the Republican candidates–Trump in particular–and they all seemed to think it sent the wrong message.

All of the children were highly critical of the behavior of the GOP contenders habit of merely throwing insults back and forth at one another.

Perhaps ironically, most critical of Trump’s behavior was a young girl named–of all things–Reagan Baird, who imitated the frontrunner by saying, “I’m going to sue you, you’re a liar, you should watch your back!”

Of the Democratic candidates, she noted “The Democrats, they don’t fight. All they want to do is talk about politics – which I think the Republicans should actually do.”

Oliver Andress, age ten, noted that “they’re all just trying to get into the White House. They will play dirty. They’ll do a lot of things because they want to be one of the most powerful people in the world.”

Colin Baird, age 11 commented, “I think they’re setting bad examples and I mean, shouldn’t our President really be setting good examples for the people, not calling each other ‘liars’ and that type of stuff?”

Yes! I would think so!

Thankfully, it’s not just kids who think Trump would set a bad example for them. One woman who responded to a request from Bloomberg for statements from diehard Republicans who say they’d never vote for Trump expressed the same concern.

“It’s not just that he’s vain, conceited and a braggart. Or that he’s prone to petty put downs, schoolyard taunts, cruel mockery and just plain rudeness. It is that he embodies virtually everything I strive to teach my young sons not to be and not to emulate.

That being wealthy makes one morally superior.
That material wealth is a measure of a man’s true worth.
That boasting about sexual conquests is something to be admired or cheered.
That every challenge to your ideas should be met not with a sound argument about the idea, but with smears, insults and put downs about the person uttering the disagreement.
That legitimate challenges to your ideas should be met with threats of financial ruin or lawsuits.
That the force of government should be wielded by the wealthy against the weak.
That your failures or lack of success must always be attributed not to your lack of intelligence or initiative, but to someone else getting something that’s rightfully yours.”

How we feel about politics is one thing, and what we teach our children is another. I’m going to venture a guess and say that most Republican parents don’t actually teach their kids that it’s OK to mock disabled people, or make fun of prisoners of war. I would imagine that most of them want their kids to be nice people and to have good manners. I would imagine that Donald Trump is, for the most part, the exact opposite of how anyone–regardless of their political affiliation–wants their kids to behave.

The only challenge to the “status quo” that Trump’s version of “political incorrectness” presents is the “status quo” of having basic manners and not just hurling insults at people all the time. That’s not “revolutionary,” that’s just being tacky and mean, explicitly for the sake of being tacky and mean. There have been mean people around since the dawn of time–and let’s be real here, I can’t think of one instance where electing a head-of-state whose primary quality was being a mean person and a bully has worked out super well for anyone.

[Associated Press]