What are Interest Groups? Essay

What are Interest Groups? Essay

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Interest groups are an association of individuals that is organized over shared concerns, with the common goal to influence public policy in their favor. To put it simply, all interest groups desire to affect the government in order to benefit themselves. Interest group’s goals range from policies that benefit specific group members or certain groups in society, to policies that affect a broad public sector such as improving air quality. Interest groups can be found in all branches of society, and range from areas such as labor to economics to agriculture. When it comes down to achieving these goals, interest groups apply many different strategies. A major component of interest groups is an informed audience, and this is achieved through lobbying. Lobbying is the act of using representatives to advocate for the group’s interests. This can be done through contacting members of the executive branch and Congress to publicize positive information on the proposed legislation. Second, electioneering techniques are used by interest groups in order to influence elections. Interest groups influence elections in order to get officials who support their views to get elected and reelected, and this is done through giving money to candidates, endorsing individuals or issues and conducting grassroots activities such as making phone calls, writing letters and contacting policy makers. Interests groups work hard to educate all potential interest group members, and government officials. However, within the many interest groups is a slight division. For example, economic interest groups often take a stand on a wide selection of policies, and economic interest groups are usually very professional and well funded as a result of their direct economic ...


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...y make it easier to influence what policies are passed and who is elected into office. Elected government officials are easily influenced because their focus has shifted from providing the common good, to wanting to be elected or reelected; by supporting popular policy, government officials give themselves a higher chance to be put into or stay in office. With this shift in priorities, government officials become vulnerable to interest groups such as the National Rifle Association, which has 5 million members and millions of dollars. The popularity of interest groups in America has lead to the increase of power of interest groups in the United States political system to an unjust amount. Through rallies, money, lobbying and other tactics, interest groups are on pace to have more power in the U.S. political system than elected officials—a dangerous and alarming idea.

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