How the GOP Traffics in Plutocratic Populism: A Discussion on “Let Them Eat Tweets” – Next100
Event   Changing the Game

How the GOP Traffics in Plutocratic Populism: A Discussion on “Let Them Eat Tweets”

Join The Century Foundation, Next100, and the Alliance for Youth Action for an event on July 28, 2020 at 5:00pm EST.

The livestream below will begin at the time of the event.

Following the 2016 election, countless think pieces emerged trying to explain why voters in the Heartland hurt most by conservative economic policies had sided with Trump. But to a renowned pair of political scientists, Trump’s victory wasn’t simply an anomaly but rather an affirmation of the GOP’s decades-long strategy to use incendiary identity politics to distract from the policies that cater only to corporate interests.

Join The Century Foundation (TCF), Next100, and Alliance for Youth Action on July 28th at 5 p.m. as coauthors Paul Pierson and TCF trustee Jacob Hacker discuss their game-changing new book, Let Them Eat Tweets, which reveals how an unlikely—yet effective—alliance between populism and plutocracy has undermined democracy as we know it. The co-authors will discuss the perils of a party no longer beholden to voters; the ways in which President Trump pedals “plutocratic populism,” especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic; and how progressives can counter the GOP’s successful strategy in 2020.

This talk will be moderated by Melissa Harris-Perry and feature Sarah Audelo, executive director of Alliance for Youth Action, a nationwide network of organizations building political power of young people, and the premier youth vote vehicle in the United States.


  • Moderator: Melissa Harris-Perry, TCF trustee and Maya Angelou Presidential Chair  in Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University
  • Jacob Hacker, author, TCF trustee, and Stanley Resor Professor of Political Science and director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University
  • Paul Pierson, author and John Gross Professor of Political Science, University of California at Berkeley
  • Sarah Audelo, executive director, Alliance for Youth Action

Presented by The Century Foundation, Next100, and the Alliance for Youth Action.

Speaker Bios

Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair and Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University. Professor Harris-Perry is founder and president of the Anna Julia Cooper Center. An award-winning author and sought after public speaker, she has served as a contributing editor for The Nation, and ZORA. From 2012-2016 she hosted the television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” on weekend mornings on MSNBC and was awarded the Hillman Prize for broadcast journalism. She is a trustee of The Century Foundation.

Sarah Audelo is the executive director of the Alliance for Youth Action, the nation’s largest youth grassroots organizing network in the country. An organization that is “of young people, by young people, for all people,” the Alliance works to build political power with young people across the United States. Sarah’s passion is centering and uplifting young folks, and particularly young folks of color, in progressive movements and institutions. Before joining the Alliance, Sarah served as Hillary Clinton’s Millennial vote director in the 2016 election. She has experience as an organizer and advocate for the Millennial generation, working on economic justice, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, civic engagement, and more at organizations including Advocates for Youth and Generation Progress. @SarahAudelo @alliance4youth

Jacob S. Hacker is a political scientist at Yale University, and the coauthor of three books, including the New York Times bestseller Winner-Take-All Politics. Hacker is known for his research and writings regarding health policy, especially his development of the so-called public option. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Paul Pierson is a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the coauthor of three books, including the New York Times bestseller Winner-Take-All Politics. Pierson is an active commentator on public affairs, whose writings have recently appeared in such outlets as the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and The New Republic. He lives in Berkeley, California.