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Lobby Groups

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In this comparison between David B. Truman and V.O. Key, Jr.'s views on lobby groups they have different interpretations on role and interaction of these groups in government. In a democratic system there is bound to be resentment and desire for change because it is impossible to satisfy everybody. Truman and Key describe how those individuals try to be recognized while forming groups for "strength in numbers". In the comparison of interest and pressure groups it is apparent that although they created resentment in the inner layers of government, they were necessary to the development and progress of the political system.

According to David B. Truman in the excerpt from The Governmental Process he demonstrates the need, influence and the importance of containment of lobby groups. Although lobby groups are separated into organized groups and unofficial groups, he considers them both equally important and dangerous interest groups. Through his writings he also demonstrates his opinion that political parties are only a large form of an interest group. Political parties don't have as many concurrent attitudes because of its influence on impressionable people and its size, but nevertheless it is an interest group. The small, either unofficial or official interest groups usually have influence upon various members of the political parties and use their influence to infiltrate their attitudes to the National Government. Both interest groups and political parties have played a large impact on the development of the governmental system and it is noticeable because although they are not the group that obtained the control and power of the operation, many of their proposals have been put into existence. They were not incorporated into the government because of the people's constant fear or losing the ideal of democracy and the threat of becoming too socialistic. Therefore it was important to have individuals representing their groups (states) in the government. The establishment of interest groups was necessary because "We do not, in fact, find individuals otherwise than in groups". Interest groups were only a means for influential powerful people to be able to gain recognition from the government by obtaining a following. It is essential in the democratic process to have the individual's interaction and as a result of having a large complex government; the individual must strive to be large and complex. They obtain this goal by forming interest groups and then they have a chance of making an impact on the government.

Truman states that the National Government and the State Legislatures take notice when the interest groups consolidate and tend to accept compromises over common goals. When they are verified of an increasing amount of support for a particular policy or deceit against it, they usually take action. In this manner, the interest groups are beneficial to the government because their opinions were created by an individual and therefore they give the government a greater ability to facilitate the lifestyle of their citizens. The interest groups can be very misleading in their size because of their pressure to convert and convince impressionable people. Truman believes that the formation of interest groups and political parties was inevitable because we offered elections as a means of representation and also in a large, complex, diverse society there will always be people who are longing for change.

From this section of Truman's work it shows that lobby groups were helpful in modifying the National Government to perform at a more responsive level. The Government could not have survived based solely on the impact of interest groups. They survived and thrived for power in a symbiotic relationship benefiting both groups.

"Even if the political parties are added to the list, the result could properly be designated as "a view which seems hardly compatible with the relative stability of the political system..." Were such the exclusive ingredients of the political process in the United States, the entire system would have torn itself apart long since".

Truman knew the importance of political parties but he also knew that it was essential to have a solid base Government to be able to revise some of the radical interest groups attitudes. It was crucial to have a strong political system because in times of crisis, interest groups have the tendency to not be cooperative with other groups' objectives. Therefore, they try to eliminate the other groups and may have to use force. This was especially significant in WWII because the interest groups that supported the war basically eliminated the groups advocating pacifism because they were threatened. When the country lacks a strong central government, the interest groups have instigated an uprising and eventually a war would break out between the two conflicting groups.

The only groups that are included in the Government are the publicly official interest groups and these groups although they are secured in their position of power have to fight off the small unofficial interest groups that are trying to gain more power and influence. The large institutionalized groups are afraid of the little groups joining the market because it would cause increased competition in the ideas being presented to the Government. The Administrative agencies aforementioned are except from the power of removal by the President and therefore can function as a private entity. The government must try to maintain a balance between the different interest groups so that they don't unify with the other neglected groups and plan a revolution. Therefore they must permit the groups to have some influence in policies.

In the printed discussion by V.O. Key, Jr., he labels what Truman called interest groups, pressure groups. The two analogous groups differ in only the fact that pressure groups do not try to become part of the political system. They intend to introduce their ideas through the use of persuading a speaker or a politician to support them. Key explains that there are two different types of pressure groups mass-membership organizations and nonmass organizations. Key specifically dealt with the mass-membership organizations because although they do not represent the majority numerically, they have exerted the greatest impact of the two. The mass-membership organizations are usually more diverse and they also don't have as much personal input on the actions of the group. The group is run by a small selection of leaders and speakers that do all the reporting to the government



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