Overton’s Window of Political Possibilities

Overton’s Window of Political Possibilities is a theory on political manipulation, whereby individuals who seek to enact a particular political policy use methods of communications to change public opinion such that the political policy ultimately becomes law by popular will. A great example is the gay marriage debate, in which public opinion was against the idea, so gay marriage advocates used a multifaceted communications strategy to turn political policy.

Overton warns that this method takes time and very carefully scripted communications strategies. If the proponent of a given policy is seen as too harsh or the change is too shocking to a collective mindset, it will be rejected. Thus, transgender bills have failed where gay marriage succeeded because the proponents never took the time to build popular support for transgenderism.

This is incredibly hard for the most enthusiastic members of any movement to understand because they are already “there” emotionally and intellectually. They look down at those who are not fully red pilled or blue pilled – fully “woke” – and cannot comprehend the delay. It takes a very disciplined communications team to execute a strategy predicated on Overton’s theory, but as the political Left has proven, it works.

For intelligence operatives and more importantly, insurgencies, Overton’s theory in practice is excellent for the sake of turning agents or a population against their government. The use of carefully scripted words coupled with meaningful gestures guides the agent or populace to see you as the viable alternative. It is not enough, therefore, to say to the working poor “you do not need the Federal Government.” Rather, you need to offer an alternative at the same time, such as a food bank or free medical clinic to replace their reliance on the state. The use of contrary imagery and communications is then amplified when they FEEL the tangible consequences of your alternative.

All of this takes time and subtly. It takes patience. It often means, shock for it’s own sake needs to be avoided at all costs. A population raised to believe six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust will not immediately stop believing it because you post a “Holohoax” meme. It requires a collective effort to slowly explain that six million is a numerical impossibility… once confidence in that number is shaken, go from there.

These are the things I want you to think about as we build a movement.

-By Jim O’Brien