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News Link • Philosophy: Political

Overton window

• http://en.wikipedia.org

The Overton window is a political theory that describes the range of ideas the public will accept as a narrow "window". According to the theory, an idea's political viability depends mainly on whether it falls within that window rather than on politicians' individual preferences.[1] It is named for its originator, Joseph P. Overton (1960–2003),[2] a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.[3] At any given moment, the "window" includes a range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme to gain or keep public office.

Overton described a spectrum from "more free" to "less free" with regard to government intervention, oriented vertically on an axis. As the spectrum moves or expands, an idea at a given location may become more or less politically acceptable. His degrees of acceptance[4] of public ideas are roughly:

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