What's the 'Overton Window' and Why Should You Care?
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Thread: What's the 'Overton Window' and Why Should You Care?

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    What's the 'Overton Window' and Why Should You Care?

    Opinion: Glenn Beck Asks: What's the Overton Window and Why Should You Care?


    Special to AOL News (June 15) -- If you aren't the least bit concerned about the health of America's freedoms, you are either a) in a multiyear-long drug induced coma, B) Sean Penn, or C) dead. And you've definitely never heard of Overton's Window.

    The Overton Window is a political theory developed by the late Joseph Overton, a brilliant public policy strategist and ardent free-marketer. Overton observed that "when public policies in a given area (education, health care) are arranged from freest to least free, only a relatively narrow window of options will be considered politically acceptable."

    The theory says the window will gradually move over time based on a variety of factors, including truth, facts, arguments, big events and misinformation, to name a few.

    The window of what's becoming "acceptable" debate in America today has changed quite a bit from even just a few decades ago. In March 1950, Newsweek declared "socialism is on its last legs," and it was right. When your favorite political model routinely ends in societal collapse, it tends to dampen the mood. Fast forward through nearly six decades of socialists chipping away at capitalism, and in February 2009 Newsweek proudly declared "we're all socialists now."

    How'd we get here? Let's take a look at the theory in practice.

    When Teddy Roosevelt first attempted to pass a bill on national health insurance, the American Medical Association ridiculed the attempt to "evolve a plan of socialized medicine" and even called supporters of the bill "un-American." President Harry Truman's administration was called "followers of the Moscow party line" for trying to pass similar legislation. In March 2010, of course, President Barack Obama signed pretty much the exact same bill into law.

    Could you have imagined our government doing this five years ago? How about two years ago? Our government is growing by the minute, and it's about to repeat the mistakes of the past -- but don't worry, there's good news.

    While the president has the media on his side, he clearly does not have the will of the people -- 58 percent of the country want to repeal the health care bill; 60 percent of Americans are in favor of the Arizona immigration law that his administration calls hateful.

    If Obama continues to push, he'll experience what's called Overton's revenge. It happened during America's banning of alcohol through prohibition in the 1920s. People like to drink, and they especially liked to drink during the Great Depression. Prohibition was finally overturned in 1933. Government overshot the window, and the people responded.

    Did Obama overshoot the Overton Window with health care? With cap and trade? With bailouts? Only time will tell.

    While you're waiting for that answer, let me leave you with this: The Overton Window model also says that when society unites behind sound principles, its political servants will, too.

    Part of the reason I wrote the fiction thriller "The Overton Window" is because I believe I know how this story we are currently living ends.

    Yeah, our government may be getting bigger and more powerful by the second -- but I know who Americans are at heart, and they are not big government people. Americans would rather learn from our failures than get a bailout. We don't need participation trophies. We can handle the red pen on our kids' papers. We're good, decent and charitable -- without being forced to give. We don't need handouts. We just need politicians to get the heck out of the way.

    It's time to show the big government Europe wannabes what it means to be American -- and move that window back where it belongs.

    Glenn Beck is a radio and television personality and No. 1 bestselling author. His latest book, the thriller "The Overton Window" is available now at. Glenn Beck - Books and also at Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

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    Got my copy of Beck's book, The Overton Window, today. It's quite a read...by page 3, I was hooked!
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative Wife & Mom View Post
    Got my copy of Beck's book, The Overton Window, today. It's quite a read...by page 3, I was hooked!


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