45 million 18-29 year olds will be eligible to vote in the 2012 elections, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country. Learn more about the issues, register to vote and get involved with MTV's Power of 12. Today, we've got another "Jargon Buster" for you.
Interest groups (noun): organized supporters of particular issues, causes, platforms or populations
It's been said that people with hobbies -- special interests -- live longer, more satisfying lives. If that is indeed the case, then perhaps politics hold the fountain of youth.
"Interest groups" cover those specialized advocacy groups and lobbyists you're reading more and more about in the news. There are oodles of them. They might work on behalf of an organization or agency -- Amnesty International and Greenpeace, for example -- or they may represent particular American demographics, like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) or Vote Latino. Corporations can be interest groups; trade associations can, too.
So what's the point? Well, aside from hopes for personal longevity, special interest groups work to influence policy and social change. Those urban pavement pounders who interrupt your morning commute with the question, "Do you care about the environment?" are chipping away at a problem that's important to them. Sure, it might be tempting to dodge the interrogation, but those signatures they collect might just influence legislation. Those question just might plant seeds for for thought in their fellow city-slickers' minds.
Long live the democratic way!
You have the power to decide the outcome of the 2012 Election. Register to vote with our super easy registration tool. So, no excuses. Vote like a champ.
Register To Vote
Visit MTV's Power of 12 to register to vote in time for the 2012 Presidential election!
Play Fantasy Election
Head over to MTV Fantasy Election to start earning points for a chance at $25,000, a fantasy VMA trip + more cool prizes!