Obama Foreign Policy and the Politics of the Bottom-Up

Time and time again, we've seen President Obama go around the world's leaders to speak directly to its people. This emphasis on the politics of the bottom up, which Simon has written about as a global phenomenon, has gone from a hallmark of the Obama campaign to a hallmark of his foreign policy. Today in Russia, he addressed the power of these new politics:

We not only need a "reset" button between the American and Russian government, but we need a fresh start between our societies -- more dialogue, more listening, more cooperation in confronting common challenges. For history teaches us that real progress -- whether it's economic or social or political -- doesn't come from the top-down, it typically comes from the bottom-up. It comes from people, it comes from the grassroots -- it comes from you. The best ideas and solutions come from ordinary citizens who become involved in their communities and in their countries. And by mobilizing and organizing and changing people's hearts and minds, you then change the political landscape. And oftentimes politicians get the credit for changing laws, but in fact you've created the environment in which those new laws can occur.