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July 2010
By: Jerry Thacker

Recently, a friend sent me some information on what is called the "Overton Window." I would invite you to visit the website at the end of this article. The concept is interesting. Basically, it states that politicians do not typically determine what is policy or what is even politically acceptable; they react to social change within a certain window that can best be described by the graphic you see to the side of this text. This window was first recognized by Professor Joseph Overton of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan. (Lehman, 2010)

Overton believed that any collection of public policies could be arranged in a way to reflect either more freedom or less freedom. The Overton Window reflects where the public is along this continuum at any given time.

What is the importance of the Overton Window for those in the CPC/PCC movement? Quite simply this: we need to continue to modulate public discussion about the issue of abortion and life by keeping our viewpoint in the public's consciousness. Let's not be afraid to talk it up to friends and clients; to board members and churches; and to civic clubs and affinity groups.

It is said that each person has a personal window of influence upon at least 25 other people. We need to use the known multiplicative effect of the relationships we currently have and the new ones we can make in order to keep or even expand our ability to speak freely, act freely, and encourage life-affirming decisions in every venue of life.

Those who oppose us will speak to encourage the silencing of our voice and our message. Let's fight back by fully engaging them in the public arena and in the one-on-one relationship-building sphere while we still have the freedom to do it.

Jerry Thacker, Publisher

Jerry Thacker, Publisher
Lehman, J. G., (2010) An Introduction to the Overton Window of Political Possibility, Downloaded from June 18, 2010.

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