If the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is close, and for the sake of argument let us assume it is just that, a verifiably tight contest — for now — based on a number of surveys, unless, in the greatest embarrassment to befall this pseudoscience since pollsters predicted the defeat of Harry Truman by Tom Dewey, Trump wins the election in a landslide; if you anguish over the current numbers, and let me disclose that I do not share your worry because I do not support either candidate, the problem rests with Mrs. Clinton.
Her weaknesses are manifold, the product of a twenty-five-year-old record of conflicting political personalities.
From approving wife and First Lady of Arkansas to dismissive critic of stay-at-home moms who bake cookies and have teas, from unelected member of her husband’s White House (with her own office in the West Wing) to secretive architect of the administration’s failed health insurance plan, from perceived victim of the president’s perjurious testimony and extramarital affairs to membership in the United States Senate (in lieu of flowers, not Flowers, and jewelry) for her suffering, from her professed ignorance about Barack Obama’s religion to her ability to cry on cue, from her gross negligence as Secretary of State to her unimpressive (and rigged, according to leaked emails) defeat of a septuagenarian socialist from Vermont — Hillary Clinton is not a likable person.
The closeness of this race has everything to do with an energized portion of the electorate that, having been exposed to some or most of these aspects of Mrs. Clinton’s behavior, believes, on a visceral level, because of such profound differences between themselves and this candidate; because of her credentials, bestowed by Wellesley and Yale (and reinforced by assertions, from friends and colleagues alike, about her purported genius); because of her presumptive right to lead, as a result of, again, the accolades of her allies and exaggerations by her professors, in addition to the validation of every test score but one; because of the encouragement of her former Methodist youth minister, whose words may as well be a summary of Clinton’s own philosophy, that “we Methodists know what’s good for you” — because of these things, and several others, many voters suspect that Mrs. Clinton hates them.
The feeling is mutual.