Examples of political groups in the United States of America include political parties, political interest groups and political advocacy groups. Interest groups are entities that operate outside the arrangement of government in a bid to influence the different decisions the government makes with relation to the general needs of the people. Examples of politically active interest groups in the U.S.A include Amnesty International USA, Americans for Democratic Action, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and American Federation of Labor / Congress of Industrial Organizations.
A). American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
1. How the ACLU Publicizes Its Cause
The ACLU regards itself as America’s custodian of freedoms and liberty and works daily in legal institutions and within communities to uphold the rights of groups and individuals in the United States. Among the many ways through which ACLU publicizes itself as an interest group are through press conferences, peaceful demonstrations and walks in the streets and campaigns in the internet. The ACLU has also endeavored to set up branches in many states within the U.S.A to enhance its penetration to the grass root levels of American communities. Notices are also printed in newspapers when required apart from placing regular notices in bulletin boards across towns in America. In the utilizing the internet, the ACLU has embraced the use of social networks as an easy way to reach and interact with many people across the U.S.A. Use of social networks have particularly been helpful in engaging the youthful populations in advocacy issues.
2. How the ACLU Raises Its Money
The ACLU raises its funding through membership contributions, grants and contributions, bequests, investment gains, legal awards and other sources of revenue. Every year, the ACLU Foundation and the mainstream ACLU organization release a publication known as the “Form 990” that provides details of ACLU incomes and spending, governance, programs and management. Another integral contributor to ACLU funding is the two annual fundraising campaigns held to ask for financial and material support from well-wishers. It is important to note that most of the support offered to the ACLU is not monetary but material. The Bill of Rights Campaign is also a channel of raising money for ACLU. During the Bill of Rights Campaign, that takes place every year for a period close to one month, registered members walk around in their areas talking to the public about their rights and how respect for rights can be improved. During this initiative, they also solicit for voluntary contributions from the public.
3. The Connection between Interest Groups and Campaign Finance in the United
Over the years, interest groups have played the important role of setting out limits on the amount of resources and finances politicians can use during their campaigns. Interests groups in the U.S.A and Canada have also been similarly restricted from direct political campaigns and advertisements. They may however engage in enhancing the political awareness of citizens. In America, interest groups have been known to rally their members behind a candidate they feel is supporting their agenda (Midland, Resell and Wilcox 22).
4. The Use of “Star Power” to affect Government on the Issue of LGBT rights in The Unites States
The use of star-power in politics is defined as the use of prominent personalities mainly celebrities to influence government decisions on crucial matters due to the huge following that celebrities have. Celebrities are listened to by many people in America through for example their songs, films and press conferences. Interest groups in the U.S.A have used celebrities such as popular talk-show host Oprah, singer Alicia Keys and hip-hop artist Jay-Z in influencing government position on the issue of LGBT rights. This is because these celebrities are seen as representing the view of many other people who are not able to directly talk to the president for example, in order to influence his or the government’s position on this matter. The American president himself apart from his executive position was viewed by many as a prominent person whose views on the LGBT rights were relevant. The president’s decision to legally recognize the LGBT community was influenced by several celebrities known to be close to him.
5. The Rise and Effect of the “Tea Party” Movement in U.S. Politics
The tea party movement started in 2009 as a mechanism to advance the Republican Party’s financial conservatism measures. The movement gained support during the 2010 midterm elections where every four in ten voters displayed their support for the movement in the exit elections. The movement’s members who were elected in 2010 input into the national agenda their call for cuts in government spending and other adjustment s to government entitlement schemes. Though the movement generally lost in the 2012 elections, members pledged to push states into not passing the proposed law on health care.
6. A Brief History of Third Parties and Their Effects on U.S. Politics
Third parties are autonomous politicians who do not associate themselves with any political party or political parties in the U.S apart from the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Examples are the Constitution Party and the Green Party. Starting from the 1920S, Third Parties have generally failed in their bid to oust the two mainstream parties. Their effect has been minimal with most of the things they advocate for being taken up by the two major parties and due to financial insufficiencies.
B). Democrats and Republicans
7. The Differences between Democrats and Republicans
While the Democrats are liberal in their approach to issues, Republicans on the other hand are conservative. Democrats also believe in negotiations as the way to solve disputes while Republicans believe in military interventions. Democrats have a soft stance on LGBT rights while Republicans have indicated that they out rightly oppose LGBT rights. Economically, Republicans are against tax increments while Democrats favor a dynamic mode of taxation.
8. Similarities between Democrats and Republicans
Both Democrats and Republicans agree on the fact that America is in a bad position currently compared to the past. Both groups want to transform the country and spur further development. Both parties are always determined to take over the leadership of the United States of America and none is ever willing to voluntarily let the other lead. Both parties also advocate for Keynesian style of economic management.
9. The Political Ideology of Democrats in the United States
The political ideology of democrats is liberalism. Among the ideals that liberalism champions for are respect for civil liberties of the citizens, embracing cultural diversity, and freedom of the media and promoting social progress. Liberalism also advocates for respect of individual human rights. Liberty as the political ideology for democrats is referred to as democratic liberalism and is a general shift of power and control form the status quo to the citizens.