Voters living in 85 percent of the country preferred Donald Trump, but he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. Photo: Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg

Photo: Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg

Voters living in 85 percent of the country preferred Donald Trump, but he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

Not long ago on a farm south of Fresno, I watched a poorly paid mechanic in silence repair a gate’s hydraulic ram as easily and rapidly as if he were Googling on a smartphone. He seemed to me a genius in oily clothes engulfed in a cloud of cigarette smoke.

Later that same day, in Palo Alto, I talked to lots of mellifluent and highly compensated academics theorize about politics. I wondered whether they could tell hydraulic fluid from the engine oil in their imported cars. Who is really wise, who not?

A red/blue political map of the 2016 election reflects these two antithetical worlds. Eighty-five percent of geographical America voted for Donald Trump. But more than half the country’s voters living in just 15 percent of its land area went for Hillary Clinton. Read more →