On Climate: The Overton Window has Shifted

August 12, 2020

Overton Window via Wiki:

The Overton window is the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time.[1] It is also known as the window of discourse. The term is named after Joseph P. Overton, who stated that an idea’s political viability depends mainly on whether it falls within this range, rather than on politicians’ individual preferences.[2][3] According to Overton, the window frames the range of policies that a politician can recommend without appearing too extreme to gain or keep public office given the climate of public opinion at that time.

After Overton’s death, his Mackinac Center for Public Policy colleague Joseph Lehman further developed the idea and named it after Overton.[5]

3 Responses to “On Climate: The Overton Window has Shifted”

  1. J4Zonian Says:

    Biden is actually lying a lot more now—and at every other time—than Bernie was in 2016—or any other time. The fact that Joe’s handlers know what kind of things they have to say to hoodwink progressives into voting for him (while reassuring the oligarchs he doesn’t mean any of it) is encouraging, though. I guess. Sort of.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I don’t agree.
      I think often times folks don’t give politicians enough room to navigate the political rapids.
      I think Obama got a lot of undeserved blowback from the left because he was moving very carefully in a hostile environment, but understood, through his advisors, the overall dynamics.
      He got the big things right, like the agreement with China, which was a huge and effective signal to markets. (which I hope will be re-instated soon)

  2. pendantry Says:

    This ‘Overton window’ highlights why we’re totally screwed. The politicians can’t stand on a platform that consists of actions that we need to take to save ourselves: they have to moderate that to try to get elected in the first place.

    Result: homo fatuus brutus gets what it deserves.


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