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The Role of Special Interest Groups


									The Role of Special
 Interest Groups
  How They Affect Opinions
        What is an Interest Group?
   A group of people who share a point of view
    about an issue and unite to promote their
       National Rifle Association (NRA): promotes 2nd
        amendment right of individuals to bear arms/own
        guns; against gun control laws
       National Educators Association (NEA): promotes
        public education/ teacher support
   Ideal: One Person = One Vote, Lots of People
    = Lots of Votes
       Types of Interest Groups
   Economic Interest Groups: deal with money
          Chamber of Commerce: organization of small
           businesses; protect business owners
          Labor Unions: organize employees for fair wages and
           safe work environment
          Professional Groups: based on specialized fields
               America Medical Association (AMA)
               National Educators Association (NEA)
Types of Interest Groups Cont’d
   Non-Economic Interest Groups- issues do not deal
    directly with money
           Single Issue Interest Groups: only have one goal in mind
                     National Rifle Association (NRA): protect 2nd amendment right
                      to own a gun
                     Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): lowering BAC for
                      people who use alcohol and drive, and administering strict
                      penalties for those who drink and drive
   Ideological Interest Groups- usually a belief in
    equality or in religious beliefs
                     National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
                      (NAACP) : ensure all people are treated equally, regardless of
                      skin color
                     National Organization of Women (NOW) : issues of equality for
         How Special Interest Groups
            Influence the Public
   The goal of special interest groups is to influence
    public opinion
            To gain members
            To convince public of the importance of their cause
            To get candidates elected who share the same beliefs as they do
             (Political Actiion Committees)
   Techniques Used
            Direct mail (junk mail)
            Advertisements
            Protests
            Public events
       Propaganda: certain ideas that may involve misleading
        messages designed to manipulate people
    What Do Interest Groups Do?
   Interest groups pool their resources (time, money, and
    skills) to increase their chances of influencing
   Form Political Action Committees (PACs) to
    collect money from members of their groups to get
    people elected that support their views
   They go to court, suing on behalf of their cause
   They lobby: try to influence lawmakers by giving
    members of relevant standing committees research
    that supports their beliefs
   Provide data and research to government officials to
    support their cause
   People who work for special interest groups
    and try to influence legislation that benefits the
    ideas/beliefs of the group are called lobbyists
          A lobbyist for the NRA would propose a law for
           expanded ability to purchase a hand gun, or would
           influence legislators to pass a law that they support
          A lobbyist for the NRA would influence legislators to
           vote against a law that restricts the rights of individuals
           to bear arms
How Lobbyists Influence Legislation
   Lobbyists meet with legislators and make deals
    for support for or against proposed bills
          A lobbyists will meet with legislators and give them
           their side of the issue to try to persuade the legislator to
           side with their special interest group on the issue
           Propaganda Techniques
   Bandwagon: everyone is doing it, so should you
          Appeals to people’s desire to be part of the “winning team”
          Ex. “Polls show our candidate is pulling ahead, and we expect to
           win by a landslide”
   Name-Calling: an attempt to turn people against the
    opponent or an idea by using an unpleasant label or
    description for the person or idea
          Negative campaining
          Ex. “ Candidate A is a dangerous extremist”
   Endorsement: using a famous person as a supporter
          Ex. “Michael Jordan says, “ I am voting for Candidate B and so
           should you.”
    Propaganda Techniques Cont’d
   Stacked Cards: presents only one side of an issue
          Ex. “Candidate A has the best record on the environment”
   Glittering Generality: a statement that sounds good
    but is essentially meaningless
          Ex. “Candidate A is the one to bring us peace and prosperity
   Just Plain Folks: use of photographs of candidates to
    make people think of that the candidate is just like
    the, with the same desires and concerns
          Ex. “My parents were ordinary, hardworking people, and they
           taught me those very same values.”
    Propaganda Techniques Cont’d
   Transfer/Symbols: using a patriotic symbol to
    associate with the candidate
             Ex. The candidate wearing blue and red standing in front of an
              American flag.

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