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"U.S. interest groups have become so powerful that they have stalemated the political...

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sicha | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 20, 2013 at 5:26 AM via iOS

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"U.S. interest groups have become so powerful that they have stalemated the political process." Agree or disagree.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 20, 2013 at 5:36 AM (Answer #1)

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While there is a case to be made for this statement, I would argue that the stalemate in American politics today is not really driven by interest groups and their lobbying operations in Washington.  Instead, I would argue that the stalemate is caused more by the political attitudes of the populace as a whole with some help from interest groups.

Interest groups have become powerful.  They do engage in lobbying and they do plaster the airwaves with ads.  But they cannot create opinion.  Instead, they are much better at focusing and intensifying it.  The real cause of our stalemate is the fact that the American electorate is badly divided.  There are real differences in attitudes between Republicans and Democrats that make compromise very difficult.  Interest groups can and do play up those differences and try to make people feel them more strongly, but they are not making the differences in opinion happen.

Therefore, while the strength of interest groups helps bring about stalemate, the base cause is the ideological divide in our country.

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