The Overton Briar Patch

Posted On: Saturday - November 19th 2022 8:13PM MST
In Topics: 
  Elections '16 - '24  General Stupidity  ctrl-left

Peak Stupidity may have left our readers hanging more than a few times with "that's another post, there!" and such. The ideas often cascade. This post comes from a time like that, with an idea forgotten until I looked over our post Remember Glenn Beck with his Overton Window? from 5 1/2 years ago! (The reminder is due to frequent PS commenter E.H. Hail having mentioned that old pundit Glenn Beck in the comments under his most recent post Election Froth.)

I just didn't have a name for the phenomena (some may well call it a plan instead, but then, remember the name of our site), as I remember thinking about that 5 1/2 years ago as I pondered writing a post. Well, I sure didn't think of a better one in the meantime, so I'll stick with this one for now. You'll understand the Briar Patch part*. but I really hadn't cared who Mr. Overton**. The concept of the "Overton Window" that Mr. Beck used to discuss a lot using his rotatable chalk board is well known

If Peak Stupidity's term won't suffice, because it does kind of suck, there ought to be a term for a different phenomena that's been around in American politics of the major parties a long while. (I call them squads of the UniParty at this point.) Here's how it goes: The ctrl-left will act OUTRAGED at the (supposed) Conservatism, far-far-Rightism, and even Hitler-adjacent policies of the GOP high-office holders. This will be the case even when said GOP high-office holders are the most worthless, traitorous, compromising squishes and not Conservative in the least.

Some of the ctrl-left with what we may think of as having, or have thought of as having Trump/Bush/Bush/Reagan Derangement Syndrome may really be outraged, but these are the most deluded psychotic sickos. I believe most of them just act like they think said office holders (I include notable Senators and Congressmen too) are actually Conservative. Why come up with these huge exaggerations of the supposed Conservatism of these politicians? It's a tactic of theirs that works very well .

The effect of this tactic is to get Conservatives to actually believe "their" high-office holder is working hard, doing the right thing for them. "If they hate him so much, he MUST be doing a great job!" Well, that can be true, but not if that hate is based on exaggeration, lies, or plain insanity.

Take George W. Bush, please! (No joke that time, take him the hell somewhere - I don't want to see his Hispanic sob story paintings.) I really did have high hopes in January of '01. However, it was pretty clear early on that he was another warmonger.*** G.W. Bush did not try one bit to decrease the American Police State, but in fact he used 9/11 to greatly expand it. Medicare D (for Drugs), anyone? That was a big government expansion, at least in the monetary sense. It's too long ago for me to remember a long list of these, and doing so would be depressing to boot. Suffice it to say that George W. Bush was no Conservative. He didn't fight the policies of the ctrl-left. Words were one thing, but from his actions, the ctrl-left should have had absolutely nothing to hate about him.

The ctrl-left sure did act like they hated him though. They do this with all the supposed hard-right-wing politicians:

“Drown me just as deep as you please, Br'er Fox,” said Br'er Rabbit, “but for Lord’s sake, don’t fling me in that briar patch.” American Conservatives get fooled by: "Please, Conservative voters, close the southern border as tight as you please, but for Lord's sake, don't elect the far-right-winger George Bush!"

PS: Site note: I really hesitate to add Topic Keys at this point. It'd be a bear to fill out old posts with them - the last 3 or 4 added are ones for which I haven't done this yet. Some times, however, not many will fit well, as with this post. "Elections '16-'24" (the title of which can be update) really ought to be "Elections since Richard Nixon", arguably.

* That's if you've every seen or heard of the old Br'er Rabbit stories and cartoons - see Wiki on this. Really, I knew it was a Southern thing, these Uncle Remus stories. but had no idea they were supposed to be a pro-black thing until just now. Would Wiki lie to me?

** However, I do now. It's not too late to learn. I just read about Robert Overton. He must have been a smart guy - being both and Electrical Engineer and a Lawyer - but also a good guy - he traveled the world espousing the Libertarian ideas of the Mackinac Center. That must have included his idea of this virtual window of acceptable discourse.

Unfortunately, after just being married, Joseph Overton died from a crash in his ultralight aircraft after takeoff from the Tuscola airport in Caro, Michigan at only 43 y/o.

*** Granted, on that score, the GOP was still seen as the Warfare party, as a holdover from the 4-decade-long Cold War.

The Alarmist
Monday - November 21st 2022 12:45PM MST

That’s what I get for not reading Instapundit.
Monday - November 21st 2022 6:27AM MST

History of "Overton Window," addendum:

Google-Trends thinks the first time people searched for the term is February 2005.

The all-time-high Google-Trends peak is the month of June 2010, when it spike far, far above anything seen in 2009 or earlier. June 2010 was around 100x higher than usual monthly totals in the 2005-2009 period -- but only 11x that initial Feb 2005 peak.
Monday - November 21st 2022 5:56AM MST
PS: Thanks for the rwy info. No, I understood your joke the first time. Instapundit's (Glenn Reynold's) "heh!" was like a chuckle.
The Alarmist
Monday - November 21st 2022 5:50AM MST

EDRK rwy 1966 feet of asphalt.

If Trump = Hitler, then the story of his struggle (Sein Kampf), written while in prison,would be Twitter length and still largely unread
Monday - November 21st 2022 4:55AM MST
PS: "The problem with the Bai Den regime sending Mr. Trump to prison is that Mr. Trump’s version of “My Struggles” will be 280 characters long and will still be tl;dr for a majority of the population."

in the words of the Instapundit:

Monday - November 21st 2022 4:53AM MST
PS: Mr. Piper, the UniParty could be in on a big plan. I tend to think they just all think roughly the same way. Their biggest common thread is that they really, really, hate having any kind of middle class to interfere with their stuff, especially a White middle class. Middle Class people have discretionary time income and get involved in THEIR politics and start businesses that compete with THEIR economy, etc...

I forgot to ask, Alarmist, if that's a paved strip or grass.

Mr. Hail, that 100 index in '10 matches Mr. Glenn Beck and his rotatable chalkboard on TV pretty well. Maybe 50% of those mentions were by Mr. Beck himself, or someone quoting him.. I will read over the rest of your comments shortly. I did put in a link to your soccer post under a Steve Sailer post from last night or this morning. I'm glad he linked to you in Takimag, though the link wasn't specific-sounding.

I would think for any more of his sports/HBD/Citizenism(?) combined writing, he should like to your post. Like I wrote, I don't care about soccer - I don't really read many of iSteve's sports posts period, though I do kind of wistfully enjoy a few of the baseball ones.

Thank you all for the great comment thread!
Monday - November 21st 2022 4:46AM MST
PS: Mr. Blanc, if by "American Right" you mean the GOP (at least since Goldwater, but probably back towards WWII) I agree. There have been real Conservatives who cared about blood and soil too the whole time. The GOP has tried to marginalize these people for a long time.

Join the John Birch Society, Mr. Blanc. (You can check out their magazine online - "The New American"). If nothing else, your joining will piss the ctrl-left off.

Alarmist, I just read the whole thing last evening. Thanks. The guy is pretty disjointed (but he warned us), and there's at least one point I certainly don't agree with, but that sure is a theory - if even that - which encompasses a whole lot of the agenda and the arrogance and weirdness of the Globalist set.
The Alarmist
Monday - November 21st 2022 1:43AM MST

The problem with the Bai Den regime sending Mr. Trump to prison is that Mr. Trump’s version of “My Struggles” will be 280 characters long and will still be tl;dr for a majority of the population.

Ye in 2024.
Dieter Kief
Monday - November 21st 2022 12:05AM MST
Mr. Hail and Mod. and MBlanc46, The Alarmist, Peter Piper -

: Does it makes sense to engage in politics/ the elections?

Mr. Hail you wrote on your blog that you were glad Governor DeSantis got elected in Florida. Others were glad that Kristi Noem did resist the Corona panic  in South Dakota. Donald Trump knew how to get to power and did not only bad things while being president (he started to listen to Dr.Scott Atlas from a certain point in the Corona-panic on, which was good, to mention just one little thing). Andhis take on Russia looked much better than what we have now - this is a big thing.

What it means to make sense

The left knew for centuries that culture matters - not least with regard to politics. Giogia Meloni does know this stuff - not least from her left wing fellow countryman Antonio Gramsci, who -  as a Marxist 1920 ff. - wrote a great deal about "cultural hegemony" and how important that is for successful politics.
Fascists had put him in prison and that's where he wrote down his most influential thoughts in thirty-two now famous notebooks. Donald Trump did indeed successfully attack some of the bastions of the woke worldview and he even defended publicly free speech (a central issue).

The motivating power of making sense

Do these at first glance maybe most unconnected points add up and build a motivating power in the individual big enough to try and act reasonably under the given circumstances of voter fraud (a big issue); wokism (another big one); the dominance of large parts of the public sphere by corporate America and the "security state"**** (Jeffrey Sachs)?

The Overton-window discussion is part of a right wing discovery of the subjects of Gramsci-ism. What means that - if you want to be politically successful, you improve your chances wildly by winning the culture war. - And that is just another expression for the fact that politics in super-complex modern societies are - complex. There are no easy fixes. So: These are bad news for the impatient, not least.

Once the religious tradition did compensate for the complexities (and imperfections) of the modern world and did allow the believer to achieve a feeling of - proper belonging (of unity - against all obstacles and existential dangers that go along with living in a modern mass society as ours).

That is less and less the case. One of the hard sociological facts Christopher Ferguson mentions in his new book Catastrophe is that - for the first time ever - the majority in the US is no longer affiliated to a religion. - At the same time, race relations were perceived by more of half of the US inhabitants as having worsened and - suicide rates have steadily grown.

The left's answer to this (huge) loss of public/common sense is to compensate via Wokism (= Corona panic, weather panic, environmental panic, Russia panic, race panic, historical guilt...).The right is on its way to detect the restrictions of a rational approach to the unresolved societal questions. The question still matters though, how important the Christian heritage is in this process.

The most astonishing bridge between left wing Danish immigration critic Prime Minister Mette Frederisksen and the immigration critics in Italy (Giorgia Meloni), in Poland, Hungary (Victor Orban) is that all those explicitly declare their rootedness in the Christian tradition/ values. This was the biggest step for Mette Frederiksen, because, as an old school leftist, she had been an atheist for most of her life:

Som ung var Mette Frederiksen ateist. Nu hiver hun Jesus ind i midten af dansk politik (

(French President Emmanuel Macron lacks this kind of depth - Giorgia Meloni senses that). 

True the Vote's head Catherine Engelbrecht is Christian - as is her sidekick Gregg Phillips. 

google: LIVE-STREAM VIDEO: TGP's Jim Hoft and 100 Percent Fed Up's Patty McMurray Interview Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips on Konnech, Midterms, etc. (

If you listen to their story, you get an impression how hard it can be to oppose mighty political forces - and how much such a fight depends not least on very personal resources when the going gets rough. - It takes a whole person to try to make sense - - - when the chilly winds blow down, across (Eagles) // the bleak terrain (Joni Mitchell) // of the - modern world.

Glenn Beck did also touch on this subject: How do you behave when the going gets (personally not least) risky & rough? - in his insightful talk with young and brave & productive & insightful (if a bit stiff/harsh/ radical/self-contradictive***) Withney Webb
***she is quite young

google: How Elites Will Create a New Class of Slaves | Whitney Webb | The Glenn Beck Podcast | Ep 162 - YouTube
Sunday - November 20th 2022 9:53PM MST


On Ngram, the 2010 peak of "Overton Window" only gets re-achieved in 2019. In my comments a few mins ago I wrote 2018.

It -does- show renewed growth in 2018, after seven years limited to a fringe of people like the Steve Sailer commentariat (where I feel certain without checking that people were using the term consistently throughout the 2010s). But re-attaining its own 2010 level, that's 2019.


*** History of "Overton Window" ***

- Concept created in the 1990s by the late Mr Overton.

- mid-2000s(?): Mr Overton's friends coin the term itself. The first entry in its Wiki page is June 2006. But the term remains highly obscure.

Appearances in printed material, Ngram, with 2010 peak set arbitrarily to 100 for easy conceptualization:

- .... to 2008: 0
- ....... 2009: 4
- ....... 2010: 100
- 2011 to 2017: 25-35 range (steady)
- ....... 2018: 50
- ....... 2019: 115


This helpful chart constructed via Ngram, AmE corpus, smoothing=0. Thanks for reading.
Sunday - November 20th 2022 9:37PM MST

- When and why "Overton Window" got popular -

A wiki writer says that "in order to explain what think tanks do, (Overton) designed a brochure to illustrate the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream at a given time. That idea eventually became known as the Overton window..."

So it was think-tank project was in the 1990s or so, but the term itself seems to date to the 2000s, when -- we must assume -- some admirer named it in Overton's honor.

The term itself was not in common use until 2009. Zero, zilch, flat-lining on Ngram-corpus before then. "Overton Window" then reaches a sharp peak in the Ngram-corpus in 2010, and fades to lower level already by 2011. It sees a revival in strength in the late 2010s. By 2018 it is again past the 2010 peak.

Why does "Overton Window" (as a phrase or concept) get a 'second wind' in the late 2010s?

First explanation: The cultural agenda-setters began to look to the term "Overton Window" during bouts of Trump Derangement Syndrome, as something to soothe the rage.

Trump's crazy calls for border security and immigration-restriction, and asserting that Africans and Muslims might not be morally superior to White-Christians after all ("sh*thole countries"), and all his loose talk like that was going on. Even if it were unserious and even if old Blompf would get Kushnered-out of doing anything about anything (as many of the Trump-Deranged persons -knew-, or suspected), those calls and slogans and 'tweets' represented an Overton Window shift, one favorable to the ghost of Hitler. They needed a handy term for why Trump was evil and not just a buffoon. It was because he was rolling out the red carpet to Hitler, or at least to gangs of fascist thugs who would create a permanent "Kristallnacht"-like atmosphere.


Second explanation: More people than ever, in the 2010s, began to observe that the Right always loses. It became common to hear things like "a conservative is really just a Leftist plus 10, 20, or 30 years." (This also applies remarkably similarly in Europe.)

The reason "the Right always loses" is they are not in charge of cultural agenda-setting. This is what the Overton Window is about, in part. This is also a long-form way of laying out another of the good arguments for the frivolousness of "elections" in our system. If one side fully controls the agenda-setting mechanism for most or almost all aspects of society and public life, it's not a fair game and the "election" is pretty much tainted.

(I just today happened to run into a list by the Washington Post of the fifty best non-fiction books of the year their editors and book experts recommend--in time for big-buying season, late Nov thru Christmas--and I began to read the synopses and was disgusted and morally offended, because most of these books are 'Woke.' Most of these so-called "best books" involve either an overt or an implied malicious White-Christian villain, the designated enemy class. The brief experience was more a shock than it should have been, for I know better; I may later write more about it, but it's a good example of the cultural agenda-setters in action.)

The 2010s, as a decade, was not a good one for Western Man. (The whole Trump phenomenon, a false dawn at best.) Holding one's individual circumstances equal -- the ups-and-downs of jobs, educational or professional success, families, personal health -- much of culture and politics and the indicators of social health, everything looked negative in the 2010s. People looked for explanations why things always seem to get worse, and the idea that a hostile elite managed and 'policed' the "Overton Window" to always end up keeping the little guy down and out, it was powerful enough that it boosted the fortunes of the phrase on the Right. It helped that the view I've just outlined is basically true.
Sunday - November 20th 2022 9:17PM MST

On the Overton Window

Around 2010, a political dissident I followed at the time, Hunter Wallace was regularly talking about the Overton Window, and that is where I believe I first heard the concept discussed at any length.

(Hunter Wallace was later a leader in the League of the South or a similar group. In the early 2000s he was a student at Auburn and became a pioneer of online right-wing dissident discussion forums, and in certain ways was a 2000s-era precursor to the Alt-Right of the 2010s.)
Peter Piper
Sunday - November 20th 2022 5:09PM MST
PS What if they (Uniparty) are all in on a National Bolshevism plan after the "withering away" of the state?

O/T-I almost feel bad for people who think some GAE victory in the ca$h Laundromat known as Ukraine is some victory for the FUSA, they are not the same.
The state will preserve itself even it means the rest of us are jettisoned overboard in shark infested waters.
The Alarmist
Sunday - November 20th 2022 3:51PM MST

This is a fun read, @Mr_Moderator…

Finance, Sex, Crypto, Money Laundering, Lockdown, Video Games, Pedophilia, Clintons, Epstein, ad nauseum ... they’re all tied together in ushering in CBDCs in this guy’s reading of the FTX saga.
Sunday - November 20th 2022 11:19AM MST
PS: Thanks for the story, Dieter. I didn't have the background on why she was bad-mouthing France there. I have not kept track as much as you obviously of Euro polticial fight against the immigration invasion. It is welcome news to me. They still need the big guys that Alarmist refers to, your Germany and France (is it too late?) to join in, as those other countries you mention are, sorry, small potatoes - that doesn't mean they aren't a great start and also potential bug-out places for those with no place else to go (the way things have been going).

Denmark has always been pretty smart about immigration - will the rest of Scandanavia join in? How about the Baltics? (Maybe nobody wants to move there anyway?)

I hope other Americans besides just the VDare type crowds who already know what's what, will watch and listen.

You get me wrong - I do like the way the lady talks. Of course she's angry about the policies (of France in this case), but it sounds genuine. I just like that Italian sound too, though she talks pretty fast - even for an Italian, I'd guess.

As for women in politics and having to rely on their convincing of the other women, well, that's OK, but it's not the way it should be. Here comes another post for next week.
Sunday - November 20th 2022 10:13AM MST
PS The American Right has never been a Right. It’s never been rooted in blood and soil and tradition. It was never about the past, because America had no past other than the Revolution. What foundation it had, it shared with the Left. Everything was freedom and rights and progress. The Left has pretty radically redefined those concepts over the last century, but the Right is still stuck with the words, which now mean what the Left want them to mean. Not that many so-called Conservative politicians have any interest in fighting the Left over the real meaning of our heritage, as their sole concern is serving the interest of their globalist paymasters and keeping themselves in the global flow of money.
The Alarmist
Sunday - November 20th 2022 9:33AM MST

BTW, Bad Durkheim has a nice little airfield with a bit less than 2k feet of runway with obstacles that keep one proficient at short field landings, but the schnitzel is worth it.
The Alarmist
Sunday - November 20th 2022 9:26AM MST

Maybe the Right promised the gas to Germany for obeying orders with respect to 404-land (“Who’s a good boy?!?”... Now beg!”), but didn’t realise the Left had shut off the pipelines and sold the reserves to China.

Miss Meloni is simply giving red meat to her constituents (at least as long as meat is legal in the EU), but there will come a time when the heads of France, Germany, or the unelected President of the EC (Ursala bin Lyin) will yank Miss Meloni’s chain, and she will snap to attention, salute the golden circle, and sell her country farther down the river, just like Greece.
Dieter Kief
Sunday - November 20th 2022 8:45AM MST
PSShe attacks French president Emmanuel Macron so that he will not attack her when she acts - as she does - together with Poland, Hungary, Slowakia and Austria (!) lately to close the Balkan route of illegal immigration.**** As long as Victor Orban was more or less alone in such attempts, he was easy prey for the EU bureaucrats. Now, if we look at the list, that has dramatically changed. - Not least because GB - a bit too, but Denmark/Sweden decisively - are also much more  immigration-restrictionist than before.
I see - you don't like it that Ms. Meloni is an Italian (=loudmouthed, extraverted, expressive) woman. Sigh Mod. - To make things worse, Danish PM Mette Frederiksen, maybe the most radical of all European immigration-restrictionist politicians in power, is also a woman. - - -
****The logic of her rant is a bit hard to decipher. a) it is not perfectly logical at all (it is very Italian).b) She includes explicitly and implicitly more aspects of this story than most people would be able to understand...She is not least concerned, to have the anti-imperialist Italian left agreeing with her. And she is talking to the mothers. To the preacher man, the next door neighbor. She says that Macron is a greedy hack and therefore, no wonder, he gets his share of African bad faith, ill will, obstacles, and non-cooperation. - She is no logician, not even a decent journo, but: she knows how to win her folks over for her goals. - And that she does impressively well. - the Fratelli d'Italia usually had 1 or 2, sometimes even four or five per cent of the vote. Between one and five, let's say - and she took the helm of that party and - made it the strongest player in italy. She even managed to leave the - extraordinarily gifted immigration critic Matteo Salvini behind - much to his huge surprise.(Scott Adams said, that she is super-talented in convincing people of the righteousness of her case - up there with - one more woman, Mod., sorry, but - it's true - : Kari Lake. For Scott Adams, the two are at the absolute top of convincibility! - Kari Lake and Georgia Meloni score a perfect 10 on his convincibility list - Trump**** and Newsom a 9, DeSantis 8 - most other politicians between five and seven points. - I do think that Scott Adams does indeed know quite a bit about the ability of - politicians , not least, to convince people, I have to say. 

****Trump's grandfather and grandmother stem from (grandfather) Kallstatt or the neighboring viljage (grandmother). Kallstatt is a wine village near the Donnersberg and Bad Durkheim in Palatina. - I've learned today with great delight that the neighbors call the villagers of Kallstatt - - - the Kallstadter "Brulljesmacher" - those who make the little cries - - - = (not too impressive) loudmouths!!! 
Sunday - November 20th 2022 7:14AM MST
PS: Also, Alarmist, regarding the frog boiling analogy (been around since I started reading Libertarian blogs) and this post of mine:

My point would be that the ctrl-left's Overton Briar Patch approach is their faking the frog out with "The right is turning off the burner, while I'm trying to cook!" In actuality, the right has cleaned out the gas jets so the left can cook more efficiently... or something ...
Sunday - November 20th 2022 7:09AM MST
PS: Haha, on the Glenn Beck video! I really can't tell the story from the youtube comments.. I don't think Mr. Beck would have thrown a real frog in the pot just due to his own sensitivities alone. Did he trick the audience about the frog?

He definitely tricked the audience with where he was going with all that, as in, hey we just got thrown in the pot already boiling due to Obama, yet nobody's jumping. Imagine now, with 900 Political Prisoners in Washington FS and still no revolution.

It doesn't feel like slow boil to me.
Sunday - November 20th 2022 7:05AM MST
PS: Good afternoon (where you are), Mr. Kief!

As a commenter under your video wrote:

"Women are good at appealing to emotions."

Nice job with that, in the cause of immigration restriction, but the logic is not there for me. The French can exploit little bambinos in Burkina Faso or not do that, but how does that affect immigration levels? (Oh, yeah, because women like her get emotional and feel they have to save them by importing their whole families and tribes to France?). Again, I'd rather women be completely out of politics.

Also, as for the logic, it's not France's fault who gets employed in the gold mines in African countries. Business is business. If France doesn't "buy"*. the gold, I'm sure China will.

BTW, why is Miss Meloni all over France's case? I am asking you and Alarmist too as Europeans - or semi- in Alarmists' case. Is she using France as an example of what Italy shouldn't do on immigration? Is there some political feud going on I don't know about? (I don't know about lots of stuff, mind you...)

I will say that I could listen to Miss Meloni with that Italian accent, even without captions, for a long while. It's angry, but still somehow very pleasant. After a time, she'd have my stomach growling for a lasagna, a canoli, or some of the cake that's green, red, and yellow inside - forgot what they call it at the local pizza place.

* Writing or talking about "buying" gold doesn't make so much sense to me. It's actually ditching questionable fiat currency for REAL money.

The Alarmist
Sunday - November 20th 2022 5:30AM MST

Is that something Beck illustrated when he chucked a frog into boiling water?

Dieter Kief
Sunday - November 20th 2022 3:28AM MST

So - how conservtive is it actually? - See just who endorses Ms. Meloni - it is not only Scott Adams - it is also the Netherland's most prominent judicial philosopher - Eva Vlaardingerbroek

WHAT SAY YOU? : (PLEASE NOTE: You must type capital PS as the 1st TWO characters in your comment body - for spam avoidance - or the comment will be lost!)