Advocacy groups have always been of prime importance in the United States as they hold specific interests and advance these interests by affecting the policies. Sierra Club, Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, and American Civil Liberties Union are some of the advocacy groups that represent my personal interests. These are working to protect and safeguard the individual rights, the environment of the earth and the health issues.
According to Madison, a faction is a cluster of people that have same concerns and come together either to work against or in favor of the public interest. Special interest groups can undoubtedly be called “factions”. Madison believed that the factions are dangerous as they ignore the public interests, influence the legislators, and their very existence could bring unsteadiness to the system. Madison recommended that a representative democracy would be the best way out to thwart the damages of a faction. Instead of restraining and controlling, the factions should be permitted to thrive and contend against each other. In this way, they would not form a majority and would not be able to manipulate the Republic representatives.
It is a known fact that individuals, acting alone can never persuade the legislators to vote on certain legislation. So they associate themselves with the groups that possess the likewise opinions and concerns and if we look at the American political system, the concerns of Madison have proved to be true as the factions are controlling the politics. The Democratic and Republican parties are two key factions which are in turn supported by various interest groups. Some of these interest groups strive to influence the policies while others work to prevent a policy from being made. Moreover, these factions are also said to be protected by the First Amendment. The right to speech and association has somewhat given protection to the interest groups as they can finance the politics for their own benefits.
However, there is a need to limit the actions of special interest groups. These special interest groups should be strictly regulated, the lobbying activities should be monitored closely, and the amount of money these groups donate to a politician should be limited to a certain extent in order to lessen the influence of special interest groups on American politics.
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