The Overton Window – the title of Glenn Beck’s new political thriller novel – is a concept of political theory developed by a scholar at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Joseph Overton.
Joseph Overton observed that when public policies in a given area, such as education, are arranged from freest to least free, only a relatively narrow window of options will be considered politically acceptable.
This window of politically acceptable policies is not defined primarily by what politicians would prefer; rather, it is defined by what they believe they can support and still win re-election. Hence, the window shifts to include new policies or exclude old ones not when ideas change among politicians, but when ideas change in the society that elects them.
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