The Influence of Political Interest Groups

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Political interest groups have had a profound influence over important governmental decisions throughout the history of the United States. James Madison believed that everyone is self-interested; therefore, interest groups are an assemblage of individuals who share the same self-interest acting together to obtain goals beyond individual reach in complex societies. These interest groups are highly organized factions that have a certain agenda that is important to them. In order to ensure their agenda is protected, these groups will often lobby various levels of government, have new laws or regulations instituted that will aid their agenda, or argue against possible laws, codes, or regulations that might harm their interests of agendas. There are citizens who firmly believe that a plethora of interest groups is good for democracy; however, some people believe that interest groups are slowly eroding democracy, are only interested in personal gain, and should be limited in number. In the United States, there are roughly 300 million self-interested people governed by less than six-hundred representatives. With the general populace greatly outnumbering the representatives elected, not every individual self-interested person’s view on the world can be heard through the general democratic process; therefore, people with similar self-interests bond together to create interests groups to let their voices and opinions be heard. With the general population being that large, there are bound to be many interest groups “that are, and should be, free to compete for influence in the government because the outcome of this competition leads to compromise and moderation” (Ginsberg 17). In Daniel Pinello’s, America’s Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage... ... middle of paper ... ...e factions that attempt to gain control without seeking elected office and they have succeeded. Whether there are many competing interest groups, or just a few, the populace still will be self-interested and try to get their voices across. Interest groups just unite self-interested people to ensure that the views of that group are heard. There will always be people who bond over their interests, believe they can achieve better success together, and try to influence the government to accomplish their interests because it is common sense that two people, or groups, work better than one. Works Cited Ginsberg, Benjamin, Theodore J. Lowi, and Margaret Weir. We the People: An Introduction to American Politics. Shorter Seventh ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2009. Print. Pinello, Daniel R. America's Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006. Print.

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