The “advocacy explosion” in the United States in the 20th century has been caused by the extreme increase in the number of interest groups in the United States. The general public views the increase and the groups themselves as a cancer that has come to the body of American politics and is spreading. The explosion in the number of interest groups and interest group members and finances has had an effect on the decline of the American political party and partisanship, the effect on democracy and the public interest, and the bias that has come with interest group competition.
The advocacy explosion is strongly linked to the decline of the American political party and the role of the political parties in elections. As interest groups have gained more power and had a larger control over politics and political goods the power that is exerted by political parties has dwindled. The power of the interest group has grown larger with the amount of members and the financial rewards that have come with the new members. In elections interest groups do not usually participate directly with the candidate or the election. Berry points out that “Groups often try to leverage their endorsement to obtain support for one of their priorities” (Berry, 53). With interest groups spreading their resources around the actual election can be affected very minimally by the many interest groups that contribute money to the election. However, the candidates who obtain political office through the help of special interest money still owe some sort of loyalty to the interest group regardless of which party wins the election. This loyalty and the promise of more money in the future gives the elected of...
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...the rise of the American public being able to voice there specific opinion about a topic. The rise in the number of interest groups has caused a definite effect on the public interest, and given more power to some groups. Big business has been the most successful at using interest groups to their advantage, however, in the changing political structure other organization will gain prominence and be able to, like big business, get their own view passed into law. The opinion of these groups may or may not be the opinion of the average American voter, but the use of interest groups gives everyone the chance to get the maximum political influence for their dollar.
Berry, Jeffrey. (1997). The Interest Group Society. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Inc.
Schier, Steven. (2000). By Invitation Only. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
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