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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The “Overton Window” And How To Apply It

Hat-tip to Insty for this Chicago Boyz article on the political-science concept of the "Overton window", which begins as follows:

With Glenn Beck having discovered the “Overton Window” more than 2 years after I did, I thought this would be a great time to re-post my essay/post from Jan. 2008.

Being new here, I thought this might be an nice place to repost it.
Note that this was posted pre-Obama and pre-tea party. I think it is still wholly relevant, but I luxuriate in the fact that the “hand is on the other foot now.”
___

I found a good post over at a pretty good lefty blog. Apparently, some Champaign-Urbana blogger named “The Squire” started blogging again, and he posted something pretty significant here. (clicking the link will get you an interesting and polite discussion)

The poli-sci concept is called “the Overton Window,” and if you want the very short version of it, I can boil it down to five words.

“The Limits Define the Center”
***


Read it all, including the embedded links, and think about various applications of the concept as the Endarkenment accelerates.

Then go back and read this post and its comments.

Do you understand yet?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you move the Overton window to the right then the American imperial military colonialism is directed more towards third world foreigners. If you move the Overton window to the left it is directed more towards American citizens. I on the other hand, reject all politics whatsoever because politics is a variety of slavery.

June 30, 2010 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger DC Wright said...

Posted THIS at the SpeakLib blog site:

Squire, I would be interested in hearing your definition of what you call the "public good."

Then, if you would, please tell me how that squares with what the Founders had in mind when they wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-- That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED, {emphasis added} that when any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it..."

You know, of course, the source document for this quote. I presume that you also know that our Republic was established in order to be the embodiment of the Declaration of Independence. (Note well that I am not trying to pick on you; I have the exact same arguments with many allegedly on the Right.)

The primary issue I have with many of you is that pesky thing about "consent of the governed." Here's how I see it (and how the Founders saw it, according to their writings): Our government at each and every level derives its authority from We, the People. We must give our informed consent to any governmental activity. But the main caveat here is that we CANNOT consent to have someone do something in our names or on our behalf that we, each and every individual of us, may not legitimately DO FOR OURSELVES. You may not, for example, legitimately and properly kill your wife for any reason that I can think of; her life is not yours to dispose of. Therefore, it must follow that you may not hire someone to kill her for you, nor may you CONSENT to having government do it for you.

Likewise, neither you nor I may legitimately attach a lawful demand on the purses of others, in order to pay for having government do such things as provide for retirements, welfare (whether corporate or individual) or any other unConstitutional or extra-constitutional power grab. We ONLY may consent to having it do what WE may do, that is defend ourselves from either criminal activity or foreign invasion or encroachment on our sovereignty. At the state and local level, the definitions may be a bit broader but the principle is the same: States may provide for punishing wrong-doers (that is, people who violate the rights of others, such as committing fraud, murder, rape, robbery, etc., not people whose "crime" is, for example, the ingestion of certain substances). Local governments may properly regulate such things as where and when someone may discharge a weapon in a NON-EMERGENCY situation or prescribe punishment for someone who is naked or lewd in public or who appears in public while under the influence of whatever. Otherwise, we as a FREE people are pretty much supposed to be left alone to perform the miracles our society performed when it was left alone by government.

Again, I have the same argument with many who call themselves "conservative," so it's not that I want to hammer you. I classify myself as a Constitutional Originalist, which means that I believe it is government's place to only do what we originally gave it the authority to do and otherwise LEAVE US ALONE. That would once more leave us free to grow and provide prosperity to virtually ALL Americans willing to do their part and not live and mooch off others. And if this model were followed, it would also raise the standard of living for any people, anywhere in the world.

June 30, 2010 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"prescribe punishment for someone who is naked or lewd in public"

That behavior neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg, so it should not be banned by government. Most of the New England colonists were all about behavior prohibitions based on their religions, but I believe this is merely religious colonialism: attend the town church or be driven out of town.

July 1, 2010 at 3:11 PM  

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