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Public Policies - Term Paper Example

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We are truly fortunate. Many do not have the opportunities that we do. They live in countries that stifle the voices of citizens and refuse to let them have any sort of say in the way that they are governed. All laws and…
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Download file to see previous pages These people feel threatened by the public interest groups that jockey for room and influence. However, there are others who believe that these groups prove that America is a vibrant democracy. This latter opinion makes much more sense and will be explored in the course of this essay.
America has a truly brilliant political system. Each person has one vote. But by organizing together, groups of people can have a larger impact on the system. For example, people who enjoy owning guns for recreational purposes such as hunting can join together to be members of the NRA. There are millions of people who have done so. This is an issue that is important to them. When a politician suggests that the law should be changed to make possessing guns more dangerous, these millions of NRA members have an effective way of championing their position. Likewise, those who want more gun control are free to organize to present the opposite point of view. The debate will presumably happen in public. The representatives can choose a position and can allow the voters to ratify his or her decision at the next election. That is how democracy works. There is nothing broken about lobbying.
As Anderson explains in his book, there are a number of different types of interest groups. Some are professional, some are ad hoc. Some are interested in a single issue, others have multiple interests. Some think tanks provide constant pressure on political issues (Anderson, 64). Others groups are collections of professional activists (Anderson, 72). In all of these forms, these groups contribute to our democracy.
One of the transformative decisions of the Supreme Court in recent years regarding interest groups is the Citizens United decision which overturned the campaign financing laws. In the past groups could not spend very much money promoting a candidate during an election period. The Court felt that this was an assault on freedom of expression and overturned the law. In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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