The American system of government is a system designed to bring together different factions around a consensus, with the primary and overriding consensus of the entire system being a dedication to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution does not mention interest groups or political parties, but both were on the minds of the delegates who created the document in the first place. The mass media did not exist when the Constitution was written, and yet certain provisions in the Constitution have been interpreted to apply to the mass media that have developed in our contemporary world. The system today is a pluralist democracy, with roles played by the many different factions an groups ranging from direct participation to indirect influences through various means of communication and action. The power structure today is dependent to a great degree on the influence of interest groups representing nearly every element in society, to the political parties serving to shape elections and governance, and the mass media that reports on actions taken by government as well as offering criticism and a conduit for citizen expression of opinion.
It is clear from recent political battles that these elements often clash and that there is considerable argument over how much power each wields. For some time there have been complaints about the power interest groups have in influencing legislation in Washington, for instance, though in truth the definition of what constit
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