The Role of Special Interest Groups in American Politics Essay

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THE ROLE OF SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS IN AMERICAN POLITICS Like political parties, pressure groups can be considered another system that connects the citizen more directly to government. However, at the same instant there are marked differences in both composition and function that define interest groups as different entities from larger political parties. According to V.O. Key Jr. in a composition appropriately entitled Pressure Groups; pressure groups "Ordinarily… concern themselves with only a narrow range of policies;" and unlike the goals of political parties, their intentions are to "influence the content of public policy rather than the results of elections." Nevertheless, it is a realized fact that special interest groups with…show more content…
With this lens of scrutiny, "the world of pressure politics becomes more a politics among the activists than a politics that involves many people." However, it is not to be totally lost that the public primarily "colors the mode of action." When the sentiments of the activists are brought outside the bounds of the special interest group and into deliberation areas known as "arenas of decision," there are "many questions of policy that are fought out within vaguely bounded arenas in which the activists concerned are clustered." It is during these times that members of the House and Senate with jurisdiction for these matters can have a shopping period in the marketplace of special interest policies where they can either ignore or assume the role of crusader. As for the struggle for opinions to be heard during these periods, it is as "if there were no elections or no concern about the nature of public opinion;" whether views of the groups are valued or not is dependent on the balance of party control within each arena. In addition, there are also public corybantics by pressure organizations that run parallel to the efforts in the congressional
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