It’s an Event whenever mega-writer Tom Wolfe deigns to write a piece of journalism.
Inkwell was about to shout, “Stop the presses!” at the sight of his byline on a Reagan piece on National Review.

Turns out it’s a piece Wolfe wrote in 1988, but it’s very much worth reading (or rereading). It’s about something that the Democrats, still obsessed with class warfare (if you don’t believe me, listen to preppie Al Gore shrieking maniacally about the downtrodden), don’t understand: prosperity and how it changes people.
Either intuitively or analytically, Reagan figured out the effects of prosperity by looking at the California worker who had become “an owner: first, of an automobile; then, soon enough, of a house (and then of a second automobile). He began to think of civic life in the same way as any new property owner.”

“Since the 1960s,” writes Wolfe, “the prosperity and ethos of the California working class have spread to workers all over America — so much so that the terms working class and workershave become archaic. Today electricians, air-conditioning mechanics, burglar-alarm installers, cablevision linemen are routinely spoken of as middle-class. Many journeymen mechanics live on a scale that would have made the Sun King blink. They are a new class that has seriously altered the political make-up of this country over the past 25 years. And Ronald Reagan was their first spokesman, their first leader, their first philosopher. The existence of this class continues to baffle Democratic Party leaders. Their biggest problem in the presidential election this fall is what to do about these people whose goals they still do not understand.”