What is Grass Roots Politics?

If you search the Internet for grassroots or grass roots, you will get a lot of lawn companies, florists and political organizations of all kinds plus a few musical groups.

“Grassroots” in a political sense means organized at the most basic level, individual people. Rudyard Kipling used “grass roots” in his 1901 novel “Kim” to mean the origin or source (“Not till I came to Shamlegh could I meditate upon the Course of Things, or trace the running grass-roots of Evil”).

In the United States, the first use of the word “grassroots” in a political sense is usually attributed to Senator Albert Jeremiah Beveridge of Indiana. He said of the Progressives Party in 1912 that “This party has come from the grass roots. It has grown from the soil of people’s hard necessities.”

I use the term to describe the most powerful moment in politics: constituents talking, writing, phoning and meeting with the person for whom they can vote. That’s how you can have Personal Political Power.

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