Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Who Left the Overton Window Open?

Last week I wrote a post in which I reviewed my development of the National Stupidity Index - the DUMBCON. I lamented in that post that my two expansions of the original five-stage DUMBCON index, which added DUMBCONs 0 and -1 to account for ever-increasing levels of stupidity, were proving to be inadequate to keep up with the geometric rise in dumbassity in modern America. In response to that post, my friend Bob suggested on my Facebook page that we were dealing with an "Overton Window situation." Not being familiar with the term, I did some quick research and learned that it's a political theory developed by one Joseph P. Overton, which describes the range of ideas the public will accept in terms of a narrow "window." The idea of the Overton Window is that at any given moment, there is a range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion - the "window" - which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme to gain or keep public office.

As Bob elegantly summarized, "Go extreme enough, and what was extreme before seems normal by comparison."

So ...

The next time you see a strutting moron carrying a loaded assault rifle into a public place just to prove he can*, or some member of Congress reflexively opposing a policy out of spite and hatred for the incumbent president, think of it as a sign that someone left the Overton Window open. Too bad Mr Overton didn't develop any screens for his window. We could surely use them.

Have a good day. Don't listen to the extremists.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* Or, perhaps, because it helps to compensate for the minuscule size of his manly parts.


Duckbutt said...

That window is open so widely now that it's drafty. And, metaphorically, energy is leaking out.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Sometimes more than mosquitos and horse flies go through these windows.

Grand Crapaud said...

Anything now goes in politics, unfortunately.

Mike said...

They lean into the Overton Window and look for a hot button to push.