Any grassroots activist worth their salt would say that they want a bottom-up party, not a top-down party. Even establishment GOP politico Haley Barbour said that our party system has become too “top down” and that the grassroots needs to reassert their power. The grassroots should control the elite, not the reverse. But how is that established? How can we know when we have elected people who truly represent the grassroots?
A recent study attempted to measure that. This series of studies measured how elected officials measured up to the basic components of their parties. (How purely “liberal” or “conservative” were they?)
For full disclosure, I should say that my husband, former Sen. John Loudon of Missouri, has the distinction of being “the most conservative” – or the truest to his party’s core values as delineated in the GOP platform. But it is because I spent more than a decade at his side as he served that I see the power of accountability in the platform and the importance of preserving that grassroots power over politicians.
Still, some would say that platforms are passé and that it is old fashioned to hold parties to particular ideologies because culture is evolving so quickly.
Others would take a much more critical look at the opining of those who want to label old documents inept and surmise that this has more to do with power and money of those in control.