воскресенье, 24 ноября 2013 г.

Interest groups as service providers

Three of the largest and most significant interest groups in the United States are the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the National Rifle Association (NRA), and the Sierra Club. While they engage in significant political activities, all three of these organizations do other things as well. Go to the web sites of these groups (
http://www.aarp.org/, http://www.nra.org/, http://www.sierraclub.org/). For each group, identify three activities that the group engages in or sponsors that you would characterize as "non-political." Make a list of the activities that you have identified. How might these non-political activities actually help to serve the political interests of the organization and its members?



2 комментария:

  1. The National Rifle Association of America is an American nonprofit organization aimed at the defense of the 2nd Amendment, which is a call for the right to keep and bear arms. It takes no more than a minute to make such a conclusion. When you enter the official site of the organization and go to the page “NRA Directory»(http://home.nra.org/directory), you can find out that “the National Rifle Association not only advocates the right to keep and bear arms,…”. Therefore, this is the primary objective of the NRA.

    It is also stated on the web-page that “the organization's expansive footprint touches nearly every group — law enforcement, military, hunters, marksmen, youth and women”. After analyzing the site, we can claim that the NRA is aimed at the promotion of the firearm ownership rights as well as of marksmanship, the protection of hunting and self-defense in the United States. Firearms producers can be considered the main source of funds for the NRA. As we know the organization supplies both the US citizens and the US Army, we can logically assume that it is the Army that needs more and gets it.
    The NRA supports and governs different shooting sports in the USA and organizes the training camps for police officers all over the country. It is sure to be an educational aim. Still it benefits by doing it. The NRA gives people opportunities, people believe them, they vote for the NRA Bills.
    The National Rifle Association of America has an influence on the policy concerning the arms control. With the Institution for Legislative Action being the lobbying arm of the NRA, it makes easy to be influential for the NRA. The association supports the candidates, who 'protect the constitutional rights of gun-owners', in all kinds of elections as well.
    There is also “The National Firearms Museum’, which is free. Again they are trying to get as many people interested as possible.
    We can claim that the NRA is trying to get the Americans of different social classes involved.

  2. 1. NRA
    • NRA holds every year the National NRA Foundation Banquet and following Auction where participants are featured many opportunities to win and bid on exclusive firearms, outdoor gear and unique merchandise and hunts.
    • It also holds the every year youth education summit that encourages young adults to become active and knowledgeable U.S. citizens by learning about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the federal government, and the importance of being active in civic affairs. In addition to the week in Washington D.C., Y.E.S. participants compete for $30,000 in college scholarships.
    • The Great American Outdoor Show is an event celebrating hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions. There is a schedule of concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations.

    2. AARP
    • AARP Health Record is a safe, convenient place for managing family’s important health information. There are tabs for medications, health conditions, allergies, insurance providers and emergency contacts.
    • Drive to End Hunger is AARP Foundation’s approach on the problem of hunger among Americans 50+, raising awareness, building philanthropic support and developing long-term, sustainable solutions.
    • Producing AARP Visa Card. The AARP® Visa® Card from Chase offers unlimited cash back and purchase protection benefits along with expert advisors.

    3. The Sierra Club
    • The organization is teaming up with The Hartford to offer auto and home insurance with special rates for Sierra Club members and supporters, discounts for hybrid cars, and highly rated claim service.
    • Sierra Club Store. In these pages you will find products dedicated to the principles of the Sierra Club. In addition they have selected an assortment of lifestyle products including organic coffee, hiking bags.
    • Sierra Club Outings provides environmentally friendly outdoor adventures for people of all ages, abilities, and interests.

    The above listed practices can be regarded as non-political activities of the three chosen organizations. Nevertheless, all the activities can serve the political interests. First of all, by producing credit cards or insurance, selling coffee, bags or adventure trips, the NRA, the AARP and the Sierra Club gain public awareness. Ordinary people can just see their products outdoors, in their friends apartment, house, or at the till while queuing and the organization member paying with the credit card with the printed abbreviation of the organization. They may get interested and ask some questions, find the essential information and having considered the aims of the organization as well as all the provided perks, they may join the organization. It is a way to attract new members and to increase the number of participants, enlarging its political weight.
    Moreover, new members may have significant political contacts that may simplify the lobbying process.
    As for current members, holding shows and exhibitions, providing beneficial services such granting scholarships, discounts or health status tracking along with organizing participants’ leisure helps the NRA, the AARP and the Sierra Club to sustain the loyalty level. Therefore, they can use available data in all the political activities, basing on their non - political experience.
    It is known that the organizations are cooperating with various partners. To mention the organization in their activities, the partners have to pay a specified fee to the organization. As a result, the profit the organization receives can be used for political purposes.
    There are also some terms and conditions that the members have to follow to become a competitor in a beneficial program. For example, an applicant for the scholarship program by the NRA has to submit a 3-page essay on the Second Amendment which can be used as an argument for it while lobbying.
    To sum up, all the enlisted non-political activities can serve for political purposes, producing sufficient advantages to the organizations.