Salena Zito ~ The Liberty Forum ~ 12-8-2020
The Conservative Populist Coalition: Durable, Expanding, Younger, and More Diverse Than Ever
Featuring Salena Zito
National Political Reporter
“Donald Trump’s supporters take him seriously but not literally; his opponents take him literally but not seriously.”
That astute observation in 2016 brought political reporter Salena Zito to national prominence. Her unusual approach to journalism has given her unique insights into American politics.
“I don’t fly, I don’t take highways, I don’t take turnpikes,” says Ms. Zito. “I only take backroads.” Otherwise, she says, “I’m going to miss the story between point A and point B.”
Ms. Zito joined the Washington Examiner in 2016. She has since gone on to write The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics. She won the Barbara Olsen Award for Excellence and Independence in Journalism. She has interviewed every president and vice-president in the 21st century, along with those who sought their party’s nomination on both sides of the aisle.
The Liberty Forum of Silicon Valley was proud to host Ms. Zito on December 8, 2020, as she shared her insights with our members and invited guests in an exclusive online meeting.
Ms. Zito examined what she calls the “Conservative Populist” coalition that placed Donald Trump in office in 2016. It was not the black swan event many critics suggested it was. Four years later, this coalition is not only durable, it has expanded, getting younger and more diverse along the way.
Who is the “Trump voter” today? Ms. Zito will discuss what happened in the 2020 election; how pollsters, reporters, and political scientists allowed animus toward President Trump to get in their way of understanding the electorate; and where the conservative populist movement goes next.