Originally Published on OpEdNewsRand Paul's victory, credited to the tea party movement, shows how use of bottom up approaches can bite back with blowback.
Joe Sestak's victory was a clear indicator that the power of Top Down politics is losing steam.
Rand Paul's Kentucky victory was a major defeat of the GOP and Republican leader Mitch McConnell. It's what happens when you open a Geni's bottle.
In this case, the Republicans opened the Geni's bottle to release the magic of the kinds of bottom up approaches that Obama used to win the White House.
Republicans have bragged that they have, in some ways exceeded the Democrats in tapping the power of bottom up technlologies like Twitter, where the #TCOT hashtag has far more traffic than comparable liberal hashtags, like #p2 or #topprog.
The problem for the GOP, the Obama White House, the DSCC and the NRSCC is, once you let the bottom up Geni out of the bottle, it's impossible to put her back in. Bottom up approaches, unlike other tools, not only affect the target of the tool, they also affect the wielder of the tool. The Republicans unleashed the bottom up Geni and it bit back, affecting the people who were connected to in the bottom up web the GOP wove. When bottom up processes or technologies touch people those people are not only affected, they are connected, like the NaVi in Avatar, to the bigger whole, and they are changed, awakened to their power and the power of interdependence, cooperation and participation.
Now, the Republican party, with the bottom up Geni out of the bottle, faces a bottom up uprising-- the tea partiers. The GOP has been and still is a highly hierarchical, top-down operation that has been known for its ability to control the message and that has, historically, dictated party decisions. The Rand Paul win suggests that phase is history.
The Sestak win showed that the top down power of Obama, Ed Rendell, bigtime support from the Democratic senate members and the DSCC, which would normally have hit a home run, was not effective against an electorate that had been energized by a huge bottom up Obama campaign.
Rand Paul, after his win, stated, "I have a message, a message from the tea party-- a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words, We've come to take our government back. "
In theory, government is supposed to be bottom up, for "we the people." The problem is, as we've seen with the MMS, BP and Gulf drilling, government has been misused and no longer takes care of the people, instead taking care of big corporations.
There's no question that other factors were also at play-- outside Ron Paul supporter money helped Rand Paul. Anti-incumbent fever and recollections of Anita Hill in Arlen Specter's case. Bottom up is never going to completely replace top down. It's more of a shift in balance that letting the Geni out of the bottom up bottle has produced.
The bottom up revolution is sweeping the planet, modifying the way under 30 millienial brains work, changing the way business is done, changing politics. It's no hammer or screwdriver, more like a bionic implant. Now that the Geni is out of the bottle, there are new rules we have yet to learn, new ways to work, to lead. It can only get more interesting.