How could a democracy be considered disruptive?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would suggest that one examine the American political scene right now.  All of it is rooted in the democratic experience, and the term of "disruption" could be a very good descriptor of it.  On one level, the Republican Presidential Campaign is far from tranquil and extremely disruptive.  For a political party that had always prided itself on order and functionality (The old saying of "Republicans don't fall in love, they fall in line" works well here), the nominating process is a reflection of how democracy is messy and far from calm.  The presumed nominee of the party is under intense siege, being attacked from the social conservatives of Rick Santorum, and to a smaller degree, Newt Gingrich.  Underscoring all of this is the positioning of the political faction of the Tea Party, who has yet to passionately come out in support of any character.  This dynamic is democratic because each particular faction has some level of public support, reflective of popular sovereignty and the idea that people have a voice and have a stake in government.

This is also reflective on the opposite side of the spectrum, as well.  The role of the Occupy Wall Street Movement is democratic, and it is far from calm.  When reports of Occupy Wall Street movement protestors are clashing with police officers in Oakland and through confrontational force, one is reminded of how democracy can be seen as a disruptive or challenging force because it is precisely not ordered and clear with results.  I think that this becomes an element of how democracy is an expression of political force that is without the drive for consensus, but actually lives and revels in its vitality which can be seen as "disruptive" as multiple voices are speaking simultaneously with passion and zeal.

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