The longings of an exhausted country
Marco Rubio learned the hard way that when you descend to Trump’s level, you suffer more than he does. No one plays this game better than Trump. (A wise person recently told me that most people, when engaging with true narcissists and those who are shameless, find it disorienting, because most of us are ill-trained to deal people who operate outside normal psychological and social parameters.)
Here’s my hunch: Most Americans are bone-weary of Trump’s antics and aggression, his nonstop assault on reality and truth, his dishonoring of the office of the presidency, and his disordered personality. What Buttigieg understood is that the way to defeat Trump (and Trumpism) is to offer as an alternative seriousness to his unseriousness, grace to his gracelessness, equanimity to his instability.
… [Pete Buttigieg’s] remarkable rise is an indication that he tapped into the longings of an exhausted country.