Put simply, the masses hate experts. If forced to choose between the advice of the learned and the vague impressions of other people just like themselves, the masses invariably turn to the latter. The upper elite still try to pronounce judgments and lead, but fewer and fewer of those down below pay attention.
Well, it is useful to recall that Ortega, in using the term "masses," does not mean the common man, ordinary people. He specifically refers to what he calls the "mass man." And the creature he describes could just as well be compared to the supporters of Bernie Sanders. I seriously doubt that Ortega would disagree with Montaigne, who said that "I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly." There are, after all, at least nowadays, sound reasons for being wary of "experts." The experts in the commentariat, for instance, were completely blindsided by Trump and Sanders both. The technocrats in Europe are having a wonderful time these days with the flux of refugees landing on Europe's shores. Every day another story or three appears about the foolishness of those who are credentialed and those who aspire to be. Oh, and then there are the government's health guidelines, which are turning out not to be so sound after all.