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Why, according to political scientists, are interest groups necessary in American...

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kalliem20 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted July 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM via web

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Why, according to political scientists, are interest groups necessary in American politics?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 26, 2012 at 1:41 PM (Answer #1)

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According to some political scientists, interest groups are necessary because they give the American people a way to have their voices heard on a consistent basis.

Without interest groups, the only way government officials "hear" our voices is when we vote.  This does not happen often and it does not send a clear message.  If I vote for Mitt Romney this year, am I voting because I like his stand on abortion or his stand on taxes or, perhaps, am I voting simply because I hate Barack Obama?  A vote for Romney does not tell us the motive of the voter.

Interest groups allow us to communicate constantly and clearly with the government.  If I belong to the Sierra Club, I know that it will be constantly pushing for the environmental policies that I prefer.  In this way, interest groups are a superior way of allowing us to tell our leaders what we want them to do.

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