PART I: SHORT IDENTIFICATION--These are the 10 answered out of 20 given for 50 points

  1. President of the Senate – Vice president
  2. Bipartisan – both parties support
  3. Judicial activism – interpreting the constitution in light of today
  4. Charisma – Gift of the Gods
  5. 435 – number of members in the House of Representatives
  6. Log Rolling – you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours
  7. Pendleton Civil Service Act – 1883 spoiled the spoils system
  8. Critical thinking – thinking  about what you’re thinking while you’re thinking
  9. Constituents – the people represented by a  congressman
  10. Kirshnerisms – knowledgeable insightful, mind expanding explanations and examples of history, politics and the working/not workings of the United States Government…and more…
    PART II: ESSAY QUESTION: This is the question the student selected to answer.

    I swiped the following wrote from an unknown author: “Public opinion, the mass media, organized interest groups, political parties, elections strongly affect the government institutions. They are not a formal part of government, but they directly influence what sorts of people are chose to be government officials – who is elected president who goes to Congress, for example. They also affect what these officials do when they are in office and what sorts of public policies results.” Explain showing a thorough knowledge of how these groups impact the government institutions.


Influence is a powerful force used by many groups, organization and individuals to affect who becomes our elected officials and what they will accomplish (or not accomplish) while in office. The influential entities, not a formal part of our government, will be the topic of my discussion. Public opinion, a group expression that attempts to influence government; mass media, which disseminates news and politics; organized interests groups such as the NRA, National Bible Asso., AARP, American Asso. Of Retired Persons, including their lobbyists all attempt to promote their ideas and values. Political parties, major and third, bring together individuals in a cohesive force to keep issues alive and push agendas. Elections also influence government officials’ behavior in their desire to be re-elected as public service has become a career.
The mass media influence through visual and print. Representing facts in an entertaining format, feeding our emotions by sensationalizing events or reducing information to sound better giving us, the public, only the bits they deem necessary and/or what the population will consume. Politicians adjust their presentation of self to take the greatest advantage of the media but are frequently caught in a moment that is ripe for sound better and sensationalizing to their detriment.
Organized interest groups wield a great amount of influence especially when their group is large, and, of course, money is power. These groups, like the NRA, hire lobbyists to protect and promotes their agendas. These lobbyists, so called because they hang out in the lobby hoping to talk to a political officer, and frequently lawyers with influential personalities and involve themselves with the political well being of those in office. This puts lobbyists in a position of power of obligation and also, just the time to express the interest groups issues gives them an opportunity to influence policy. And, while I’m on the subject of lobbyists I’d like to point out that they are often called upon by members of Congress to help write legislation.
Though more powerful in the past with party bosses and influence in the daily lives of the public, political parties still have influence in the government. Congress itself is still organized through partly affiliation even when making a member not affiliated with one of the two major parties, Republican or Democrat, align themselves with one or the other. Political parties keep issues alive, bringing cohesiveness to a group, helping individuals compromise in order to gain real weight behind agendas. Third party power is in that ability to bring to light issues not being addressed by the major parties and giving the voting public an opportunity to show legislators what we think is important
Elections influence politicians on a primal level. The wish/desire to stay in office, to maintain a position of power, to keep their job, to continue working for their constituents inspires or influences them to genuinely meet the needs of their district nor matter their personal agenda. The funding needed to campaign prevent politicians from alienating interest groups, the parties, or the media. Party leaders not wanting to throw away a candidate with potential will not run them against an incumbent, someone already in office. Incumbents have a 90 – 95% re-election rate.
I cannot separate the influence of public opinion from the preceding areas of influence. The public is not limited to opinion polls in expressing group ideas in hopes of effecting change in our government. The congressman hoping for the election will watch the opinion of his/her constituent and attempt to address in some way those issues expressed as public opinion. The power of the president is affected by public opinion. When the polls drop, so can the president’s power. Popularity equals to power in politics.
Mass media, interest groups, political parties, elections, and public opinion all influence government institution and officers through dissemination of news, contributions, non-monetary support, direct and in direct aid. Persuasion, obligation and pressure to perform a certain way (lobbyists) is also used to affect changes or lack thereof on behalf of this informal part of government.