If a man who was first in his high school class thinks he speaks for the working class, if he thinks he speaks for the middle class, too, and if the valedictorian is Pete Buttigieg, Democrats should deliver a valedictory to the working man.
We should say a prayer for democracy, and pray we do not succumb to rule by the meritocracy.
We should act rather than pray, before a system of rule by the few becomes a mandate for the few to rule forever.
The mandate may be false—the mandate is false—but it is a lie we continue to accept: that an aristocracy of talent is better than an aristocracy of wealth, that the past has no hold on the future, that the future belongs to fortunes of blood rather than blue bloods from a fortunate age; that birth is more determinative than the talented will admit, that what a man like Buttigieg believes is different than what a descendant of Adams or Jefferson knows, that one thinks he is the best possible ruler because he is the brightest man among all rulers, while the other knows what he owes his country.
Buttigieg is oleaginous in ways that confirm his status.
He is a McKinsey man with a Midwestern street address and a Harvard alumni email address.
He is articulate but not eloquent, speaking fluidly but not movingly, like a commencement speaker who speaks without notes and says nothing noteworthy.
He speaks more like a food critic than a critic of political pork, conjugating the verb marinate to distinguish himself from his opponents who “have marinated” or “been marinating” in Washington for decades.
The more contemptuous Buttigieg is, the more conceited he sounds, as in his comment that he has more military experience than anybody who has been president since George H. W. Bush.
Recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals, Bush spoke about the honor of service, not his honors in service.
In contrast, Buttigieg is a man of academic honors.
His candidacy is a disservice to democrats and Democrats.