Pressure Groups In The USA Promote Democracy And Widen Opportunity

Topics: Lobbying, Democracy, United States Congress Pages: 3 (1321 words) Published: April 1, 2015
“Pressure groups in the USA promote democracy and widen opportunity” Discuss. (45) The political system in the US is arguably the most democratic in the world, with an unprecedented number of access points. As a result, there are more PGs, operating at more levels of government and with more impact in the US than any other political system. There are many PGs in the US that work to promote democracy, such as the ACLU who work to defend civil liberties and Common Cause who exist to hold government to account. However, the recent struggle to pass healthcare reform and failure to pass any form of gun control has highlighted how overly dominant special interest groups have become as a result of funding from big business. For this reason, I believe PGs in the US have an overall negative effect on democracy and opportunity. The main reason that PGs in the USA do not promote democracy is because the most influential groups put the interests of a small group before the interests of society as a whole. They tend to spend too much time fighting for their special interest and little time fighting for the wider public interest and as long as their client group is satisfied they rarely consider the implications on society. This has been the case time and time again with anything concerning healthcare reforms. Healthcare companies and Insurance companies funded the defeat of Clinton’s healthcare reform in Congress in the 1990s and in Obama’s attempt they amended the reforms in ways to benefit the healthcare companies, removing the proposed ‘public option’ and making it mandatory for everyone to buy health insurance. This is fundamentally undemocratic as it removes people’s freedom to not have healthcare insurance. A point that links with the first is the inequality of PGs in the US, particularly in terms of influence. There are a number of policy areas in which PGs are clearly unequal, for example the environment. Many argue the resources of big business often outweigh the...
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