ChrisWeigant.com

Watching The Overton Window Move

[ Posted Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 – 18:03 UTC ]

Sometimes in politics it is hard to see the big picture, since we so often are consumed with small-picture details of the moment. So I'd like to take a step back today and admire how the Overton window among Democrats is rapidly shifting in a very positive and progressive direction. Because what was considered radical and even unthinkable not so long ago is now becoming so mainstream that Democratic politicians risk their own political survival if they don't support such ideas. These shifts in perception normally take place over a very long period of time, but that doesn't seem to be the case right now.

To define the term: the "Overton window" is an attempt to measure what is politically acceptable at any given time. From Wikipedia's definition of the term:

The Overton window is an approach to identifying which ideas define the domain of acceptability within a democracy's possible governmental policies. Proponents of policies outside the window seek to convince or persuade the public in order to move and/or expand the window. Proponents of current policies, or similar ones, within the window seek to convince people that policies outside it should be deemed unacceptable.

The spectrum the Overton window shifts and expands and contracts upon has been further defined as ranging through:

  • Unthinkable
  • Radical
  • Acceptable
  • Sensible
  • Popular
  • Policy

But this doesn't tell the full story. Some ideas can be in two places at once, depending on which lens you choose to look at them through. After all, any given policy idea can already be very popular among the general public, but still be considered either radical or unthinkable by the political class. Many times the public is far out in front of where the politicians are. But this is a minor quibble, since the overall Overton window really measures how the politicians view new ideas. Is "X" an idea which must be supported for you to have a chance of being re-elected, or is "X" an idea that is so looney that supporting it would guarantee you wouldn't be re-elected? That's the basic measure.

To give but one example, consider how the concept of supporting gay rights has shifted over the past three decades. Democrats initially opposed radically changing how society saw and treated gay people, because they feared it would be another issue that Republicans would beat them over the head with during elections. Indeed, that's exactly what happened, as "defense of marriage" became a rallying cry for conservatives. There were a few brave Democrats who got out in front of the issue and took what were considered very radical steps at the time (Gavin Newsom marrying gay couples in San Francisco), but for the most part Democrats were happy with vaguely supporting gay rights but stopping short of endorsing the concept of gay marriage. The second-class designation of "civil unions" was about as far as most mainstream Democrats were willing to go. Barack Obama got elected without supporting gay marriage, it's worth pointing out. It took the courts to force the issue, and even after gay marriage was legalized there were plenty of Democrats who still shied away from it. However, eventually the idea became so normalized that Democrats felt safe enough to support it wholeheartedly. But it took three decades for that shift to happen.

We're in the midst of another such shift, although we haven't quite reached the end of this particular road yet. This was the issue that spurred me to write today, because of a news story about how Andrew Cuomo (who just won re-election as New York's governor) is now fully supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana, after spending years personally fighting against such a move. Just last year, he was still calling it a "gateway drug," but now he's listed full legalization as a top legislative priority of his for 2019.

Marijuana legalization has been charting a parallel course to gay marriage over roughly the same time period, of course. In the 1990s, it moved from unthinkable to merely radical when states began legalizing medicinal use. Now over three-fifths of the states have done so, and ten have taken the full plunge and legalized adult recreational use as well. Slowly, Democratic politicians have gotten behind this effort, but the public is obviously way out in front of them, since most of these legalization efforts have taken place as ballot box referenda, where the voters decide directly without the politicians even having a say. But if even a drug warrior like Cuomo, in a state notorious for harsh anti-weed laws, can now get behind legalization, then the idea can be said to at least have reached the sensible and popular stages.

That time period is interesting because it shows almost a full pendulum swing within the Democratic Party. The 1990s was the era of Democratic centrism and the Democratic Leadership Council. The party swung far towards the corporate interests, and in doing so left their populist roots behind in many ways. This period lasted approximately as long as the Clintons held major influence over the party, but it has been swinging back quickly ever since.

Bernie Sanders ran a progressive and populist campaign for president in 2016. He fell short of the nomination, but he got one whale of a lot closer to it than any previous populist Democrat (Howard Dean, Jesse Jackson, etc.) had in many decades. His ideas were no more than a return to the Democratic Party's roots, but they were heavily criticized by the party's eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton, who billed herself as an incrementalist who could actually get a few small changes made rather than the radical pie-in-the-sky stuff that Bernie was promising.

In two short years, however, most of Bernie's "radical" ideas have now become mainstream Democratic Party platform planks. The only one that hasn't fully been accepted by Democratic politicians at large is "Medicare for all," but even that one's gaining ground.

The best example of how fast the Democratic Overton window is shifting came within the Cuomo article, in a response by Cynthia Nixon. Nixon was Cuomo's primary challenger, and the boldly progressive agenda she ran on is now largely (and reluctantly, one assumes) Cuomo's own priority list. Nixon just tweeted: "Sometimes people ask me: was it worth it? YES." while retweeting a very poignant list initially tweeted by Shane Goldmacher:

Some highlights of Cuomo 2019 agenda:

  • Legalize marijuana
  • End cash bail
  • Election state holiday
  • Auto voter reg
  • End vacancy decontrol
  • Ban corp $
  • Ban bump stocks
  • "Red flag" law
  • A  NY "Green New Deal"
  • Revenue for MT
  • Codify Roe in NY
  • Prop tax cap perm
  • Cut mid class taxes

This matches up pretty closely with what Nixon ran on. Cuomo either resisted or was reluctantly dragged into halfheartedly supporting most of these issues during the primary campaign. In other words, Cynthia Nixon singlehandedly shifted the Overton window for New York Democrats, even though (like Bernie) she eventually lost the nomination race. Or to put it another way, she may have lost but her ideas won.

A pendulum is a good metaphor for the way politics shift over time, because a pendulum's velocity is not constant. It even hangs motionless at the far end of its travel before very slowly starting an arc back in the other direction. But this accelerates until it is moving very quickly indeed. Eventually, it will travel so far in the other direction that it slows until it finally stops and reverses course for another periodic swing.

We have not come to the point where Democrats are ready to pull back. We are, in fact, in the accelerating phase of this swing. Cuomo's shift over the period of only one year shows this. And, as with all these pendulum swings, some are already screaming that Democrats "are going too far!" These people, for the most part, are ignorant of the history of the Democratic Party. Go back and read just about any speech from Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the economy and economic disparity if you don't believe this. Democrats used to fight against the depravations of Wall Street while fighting for the little guy, in just about everything they did. What we are witnessing now is a return to that stance, or at least as close as we can get in modern times.

The Overton window measures viability of a political idea through how the politicians see it. Because it is only when politicians fear for their own political survival that anything actually gets done in Washington, and any new idea reaches the final stage of becoming policy. Since Obamacare was passed, the Democratic Party spent quite a few elections being beaten over the head with it by their Republican counterparts. So they shied away from defending it on the campaign trail. That changed in a big way this year, as the voters saw Republicans trying to take Obamacare away and essentially replace it with nothing -- a return to the bad old days of going bankrupt when you got sick. Democrats finally championed the law, and it won them a whole bunch of House seats in the midterms. Donald Trump proved that populism (even his particularly nasty version) is a potent political stance these days, so Democrats running to defeat him in 2020 will be energized to once again center their campaigns around what the little guy and Main Street want and need to thrive, rather than what the stock market needs to thrive.

It's not just legal weed, in other words. The Democratic Party is in the midst of a swing of the pendulum that is fast moving the Overton window for what is considered acceptable and sensible in Democratic politics. Pioneers like Bernie Sanders and Cynthia Nixon are partly responsible for this shift, but most of the credit has to be given to the electorate itself. The Democratic base voters want more from their party, that much is obvious. They want boldness, not incrementalism. They want people and workers to be considered first, and Wall Street and corporate titans last.

Although stories like the one about Cuomo show how fast this transformation is taking place, I actually expect it to continue accelerating at least through the 2020 election cycle. There will be so many Democrats vying for the presidential nomination that they'll have a hard time making a name for themselves. So I expect even bolder ideas to begin surfacing in the nomination race, because it might be the only way a lesser-known candidate can even get any news coverage at all.

As for the naysayers who already warn Democrats are going too far too fast, well, that remains to be seen. But I would bet anything that it'll be a long while before Democrats actually do overreach, because so far pretty much everything on the progressive agenda is already very popular (some of them wildly popular) with the voting public. The way I see it, Democratic politicians are still just catching up to where their own voters are already leading. Which means it'll be a while yet before any Democratic politician really does overreach where the public is at on any of these issues. In other words, the Democratic Overton window is shifting fast, but it still hasn't caught up to where the people actually are, so it probably still has a ways to go before this shift even slows down. And from where I sit, that's a good thing.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

41 Comments on “Watching The Overton Window Move”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    how fast will the pendulum swing for pie?

  2. [2] 
    John M wrote:

    [1] nypoet22

    "how fast will the pendulum swing for pie?"

    Pie doesn't swing on a pendulum. It rotates on a Lazy Susan instead. Unless of course you are engaging in pie throwing.

  3. [3] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Trump and family are facing defenestration(s) through the Overton Window. As the old joke goes, better wear a light fall suit!

  4. [4] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    So the public is ahead of the Overton window and politicians will respond when they realize they must do what the public wants in order to get elected or re-elected.

    80% of citizens that want the Big Money out of politics are ahead of the window. Why not give them a bold plan to organize some of these citizens to work together to demand small contribution candidates and accelerate the movement of the window on this vital issue?

    You can be out in front of this instead of bringing up the rear.

    All you have to do is open your window and say "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!".

  5. [5] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As for the pendulum reference, while it is good to recognize the analogy it is not good to just ride the pendulum back and forth- that is just marking time and getting nowhere.

    When you are not where you want to be it is good to ride the pendulum when it is moving toward where you want to go which can even help accelerate it's momentum in the right direction.

    The difficult part is recognizing when it's momentum has carried you as close as you're going to get by holding on to the pendulum and let go before you are carried back in the wrong direction.

    Bernie has taken the momentum of his hybrid small contribution campaign that requires holding on to the pendulum to the apex of the swing. It is time to take the leap and let go of the pendulum while the established momentum will still carry us in the right direction toward true small contribution campaigns.

    Let's start now by challenging Bernie (and other candidates) to run a true small contribution campaign in 2020 if he decides to run. We have two years to move the window which as you have demonstrated in your article is plenty of time.

  6. [6] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @john,

    yes, i'm fully aware of the various pie delivery systems. however, my point relates to the overton window as CW so eloquently explained. pie is already popular, and has been for quite some time, so why not just take the next step and make it policy?

    JL

  7. [7] 
    Paula wrote:

    Speaking of Overton Windows, eventually it will be accepted that Russian interference "won" DT the 2016 election.

    ‘Very strong’ case Russians swung the 2016 election for Donald Trump: ‘Cyberwar’ author Kathleen Hall Jamieson in interview with Raw Story

    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/12/strong-case-russians-swung-2016-election-donald-trump-cyberwar-author-kathleen-hall-jamieson/

    Her first instinct 2 yrs ago was that the idea was nonsense. Not anymore.

    I originally thought that the idea that the Russians could have used social media to create a substantial impact on the election was absurd. I started to change my mind when I saw the first release of Russian social media and troll campaign ads and messaging during the U.S. Senate hearings in October and November of last year. These ads were a coherent plan and understanding of the presidential election which was consistent with Donald Trump’s political needs.

    If acted on systematically, these ads would have produced a communication effect that on the margins could have affected enough votes to change the outcome of the election in his favor. If the Russians didn’t have a coherent theory of what it took for Donald Trump to win — or what it would take to make it more likely that Hillary Clinton would lose — then all their machinations would not have mattered. But the Russians knew who to mobilize.

    The Russians were trying to mobilize evangelicals and white conservative Catholics. The Russians also knew that they needed to mobilize veterans and military households. The Russians knew they had to demobilize Bernie Sanders supporters and liberals, especially young people. The Russians were also attempting to shift the voters they could not demobilize over to Jill Stein.

    You add that together with demobilizing African-American voters with messaging that Hillary Clinton is bad for the black community, and then Clinton’s whole messaging strategy is at risk. If Hillary Clinton can’t mobilize the black vote at levels near Barack Obama’s, although not the same level, then she is in trouble.

    I then started to examine where the Russians and their trolls spent their time and attention. They were spending more of it on trying to demobilize African-American voters by emphasizing things that group may not like about Hillary Clinton. When a person casts a vote they are not thinking about every detail or issue relative to a candidate. Voters make decisions based on what is most important in that moment of time, what is on the top of their mind.

    So if you remind voters who are African-American that at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency there was a very high level of increased incarceration of African-Americans on drug charges then an African-American voter may say, “Maybe I should think about Hillary Clinton differently.”

    If you remember her “superpredator” comment and take it to be about black people in general and not about gangs specifically, then you as an African-American voter may be less likely to support her.

    By featuring these types of messages, the Russians were increasing the likelihood that while you may not be likely to cast a vote for Donald Trump, you are more likely to stay home and not vote for Hillary Clinton.

    I then started to wonder whether maybe there was enough troll activity that was addressed to the right constituencies to have impacted the margins of the vote. The question then becomes, did the Russians and their trolls target the right voters in the right places? We still don’t know that.

    The social media platforms know the answer, but they have not released the information. The trolls alone could have swung the electorate. But in my judgment the WikiLeaks hacks against the DNC is a much stronger case. There we see a clear effect on the news media agenda. We know from decades of communication scholarship that if you change the media agenda you then change the criteria that people vote on. The shift in the media agenda from October forward was decisively against Hillary Clinton. And the questions in the presidential debates which were based on information stolen by WikiLeaks and the Russians disadvantaged Clinton and, looking at the polling data, predicted the vote.

    It's a fairly long piece - worth reading.

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As for the Overton Window changing so it will be accepted that Russian interference with social media "won" the election for DT, it will be accepted shortly after it is accepted that Ralph Nader cost Gore the 2000 election.

    But if it ever is accepted that the Russians won the election for Trump using social media then it would also have to be accepted that it was no great loss. If Hillary could not handle the Russians on social media during an election then she would not have been able to handle the Russians as president- despite the fact that Trump is also inadequate.

  9. [9] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-4

    You trot out that "80% of citizens that want the Big Money out of politics" statistic again, and I can find numerous polls that peg support at roughly that level.

    However, if you ask voters to rank the most important political issues, Big Money politics is barely a blip.

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx

  10. [10] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-4

    More voter ranked issue data can be found at:

    http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm

    There may be broad support for campaign finance reform, but it is not deep support.

    "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" _ variously attributed

  11. [11] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Apple pie is a solid 6 in the US top ten most popular desserts

    https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/food-facts/5-most-popular-desserts-in-america1.htm

  12. [12] 
    TheStig wrote:
  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    So?
    I have posted a survey here that shows that Big Money in politics was one of two issues out of aboot 16-20 issues that was listed in the top two concerns by an overwhelming majority of those polled.

    But it doesn't have to be the most important issue to be an important issue to citizens. It is possible that people do not prioritize the issue because it seems too difficult to solve.

    If that is the case, their priorities could change when they find out aboot One Demand and discover that it could help to provide a solution.

    Not everyone looks at things to try and find (or make up) an excuse why it won't work so that they don't have to deal with actually thinking aboot it and to rationalize their own ideology.

    Some people actually look at ideas to see if and how the ideas could work.

    It would be nice if some of those people participated in the comments here. The bullshit is getting pretty old and extremely pitiful.

  14. [14] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    9

    You trot out that "80% of citizens that want the Big Money out of politics" statistic again, and I can find numerous polls that peg support at roughly that level.

    However, remember to factor in the undeniable fact that Don's definition of "Big Money" is $201+, and his continued hijacking of that particular 80% statistic and continued insistence that it naturally equates to overwhelming agreement with his self-defined term of "Big Money" is ridiculous on its face.

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    12

    Oh, look! It's the underpants gnomes profit plan wherein "Phase 2" is thusly defined as "pie."

    I'm could go "all in" with that. ;)

  16. [16] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-

    It's easy to cut through all your arm waving.

    You are trying to turn a significant percentage of voters into single issue voters.

    "Take big money and lose our votes" = single issue voting.

    All issue ranking data I've found indicate only a small percentage of voters, less than 5%, rate big money politics as their most pressing issue. Most voters think many other issues are a higher priority, and they vote strategically based upon a market basket of issues they deem the most important. You aren't attracting converts because most voters don't share your single priority enough to lose on small money AND all their higher ranked issues. They don't like the spoiler payoff matrix you set up.

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    13

    Not everyone looks at things to try and find (or make up) an excuse why it won't work so that they don't have to deal with actually thinking aboot it and to rationalize their own ideology.

    You should divest yourself of the ridiculous nonsensical notion that commenters here are "making up excuses" as to why your failed attempt at political activism "won't work" and that it has anything whatsoever to do with the avoidance of "thinking" about your bullshit, particularly when your shit has been discussed by multiple commenters and the author on this board on multiple different occasions... ad nauseam.

    Your continued fantastical belief that anyone here is afraid to think about your failed shit is arguably the most self-delusional tripe I have seen written on this board... bar nothing.

    It would be nice if some of those people participated in the comments here.

    You will have to be content with the fact that those people you believe are afraid of your repetitive shit exist solely and entirely in your own fantasy.

    The bullshit is getting pretty old and extremely pitiful.

    Yes, and you will find that the stench will linger unabated and follow you wherever you may roam... because it's all... your... bullshit. :)

  18. [18] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "Take big money and lose our votes" = single issue voting.

    no, that's single issue NON-voting.

    single issue voting is to only choose candidates who favor pie. but to be fair, that's a very tasty issue. also, pie is by no means limited to just apple, so in aggregate i'm certain it would top fudge, or at least cookies.

    JL

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick, Stig, Nypoet-
    Great examples that prove my point.

    I have repeatedly explained that it is NOT single issue voting. It is starting point just as not voting for someone that is a climate change denier, a MeeToo violator, a child molester or anything that someone finds makes the candidate unsuitable for office.

    Yet you keep trotting out that distortion of my position to fit the argument that you want to make.

    As it is doubtful that any of you are really that stupid, the only logical conclusion is that you do it on purpose and with the full knowledge that you are full of shit.

    Pitiful.

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-19

    So your organization is just a starting point - then maybe you should change its name (again) to ManyDemands....and argue endlessly about what those many demands should be.

    But, you've supported MY point! Real world voters decide how to vote on the basis of a "market basket" of candidate positions and character traits, they aren't typically swayed by just one position in the basket.

    Candidate A: Accepts legal contribution over $200 and Accepts Climate Change.

    Candidate B: Only accepts contributions less than $200, Denies Climate Change.

    There is no candidate C on the ballot.

    Choice 1. don't vote.

    Choice 2. write in a protest candidate with zero chance of winning.

    Choice 3. vote for A.

    Choice 4. vote for B.

    I would opt for choice 3, I favor averting World Climate Catastrophe to deciding how much money is small, or just just punting the issues down the road. You might opt for choice 1,2 or 4. Choices 1 and 2 are basically equivalent to not choosing = let somebody else decide the issue.

  21. [21] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    19

    Kick, Stig, Nypoet-
    Great examples that prove my point.

    I have repeatedly explained that it is NOT single issue voting. It is starting point just as not voting for someone that is a climate change denier, a MeeToo violator, a child molester or anything that someone finds makes the candidate unsuitable for office.

    You might as well be repeatedly explaining how the sky is NOT blue and then list a bluebonnet, a bluebird, and a blueberry pie as examples of other NOT blue things. In fact, you can keep right on claiming that utter nonsensical bullshit until you are NOT blue in the face, and the only thing you're confirming is your abject ignorance.

    * By registering as a participant in One Demand citizens will declare that in the 2016 elections they will only vote for candidates that finance their campaigns only with contributions from individuals in the aggregate amount of 200 dollars or less.

    * The large contributors control our electoral process by creating the narrative that only candidates that take the large contributions can win an election. One Demand will change the narrative to one where a candidate can’t win an election if they do take the large contributions.

    ~ Don Harris, verbatim from the website of his failed attempt at political activism

    Have you read your website, Don? If you have, do you need it explained to you that "only" means exclusively, solely, to the exclusion of everything else? Read it carefully, consult your dictionary. Take your time until you are able to fully comprehend the meaning of the quoted words. Do you still need clarification? Focus on your claim: One Demand will change the narrative to one where a candidate can’t win an election if they do take the large contributions.

    Calling your political venture "One Demand" and explaining that your aim is to change the narrative to "my way or the highway" is the very definition of single-issue voting. No matter how many times you insist that it isn't.

    As it is doubtful that any of you are really that stupid, the only logical conclusion is that you do it on purpose and with the full knowledge that you are full of shit.

    There is no doubt whatsoever that you are really that stupid, but ignorance is bliss and doesn't know how stupid it really is. That's why it gleefully keeps spewing the same bullshit without the knowledge or ability to recognize how stupid it sounds. :)

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick - as the familiar saying goes, "those who live in monkey houses should not throw feces aboot." Usually attributed to Thomas Crapper.

    I'll catch hell for posting this. Insensitivity to Canadians, Scots, monkeys, plumbers and zoo keepers. : )

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    22

    Kick - as the familiar saying goes, "those who live in monkey houses should not throw feces aboot." Usually attributed to Thomas Crapper.

    *laughs*

    Ah, Thomas Crapper... now there was a guy who really knew his shit. While Crapper can't take credit for inventing the toilet -- the brainchild of "John," the godson of Queen Elizabeth I -- his contribution of the floating ballcock to the crapper was revolutionary indeed.

    I'll catch hell for posting this. Insensitivity to Canadians, Scots, monkeys, plumbers and zoo keepers. : )

    As well as insensitivity to feces; you mustn't forget feces. As we all strive to age gracefully, it does get more difficult to remember "shit" but ever so easier to take no "shit" from nobody.

    Also, "screw" 'em if they can't take a joke! :)

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    One Demand is a starting point. Just like any other organization that concentrates on one issue. Should an organization that works on climate change take positions on all other issues or concentrate on climate change?

    But in a sense, One Demand does take positions on other issues because big Money in politics has an effect on just aboot every other issue.

    For example, voting for a Big Money candidate that accepts climate change will do nothing to stop climate change because the Big Money interests that control the Big Money politician prefer making money destroying the climate and probably look forward to making money off of having to fix or deal with the problems they caused. So when it comes to voting to stop climate change a vote for your candidate A is vote that has no chance of winning.

    That is why in your scenario I would choose a write in vote to register a vote against the unsuitable candidates in this election cycle to create and demonstrate demand for a candidate that only accepts small contributions and accepts climate change for the next election cycle.

    Validating unsuitable candidates with a vote in the current election cycle guarantees the same lack of suitable candidates in the next election cycle.

    Not voting accomplishes the same outcome.

    Registering a vote against the unsuitable candidates in the current election cycle is the only approach that has a chance of providing suitable candidates for the next or future election cycles, making it the only rational choice.

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    The commitment to vote only for small contribution candidates is just that- a commitment to vote only for small contribution candidates.

    The participants agree on this one issue. The candidates must meet this basic qualification.

    Each of the participants decide then decide for themselves if the candidates that meet the basic qualification have suitable positions on other issues that are important to them. This enables the citizens that want the Big Money out of politics to work together on the one common issue without having to agree on other issues.

    So the demand to finance campaigns with small contributions is a starting point, it does not exclude all other issues for the individual participants.

  26. [26] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-4

    That is why in your scenario I would choose a write in vote to register a vote against the unsuitable candidates in this election cycle to create and demonstrate demand for a candidate that only accepts small contributions and accepts climate change for the next election cycle.

    You seem to forget something. Your vote is secret. At best, all the public sees is how many votes each candidate got. Unless your write-in candidate is publicly associated with no other issue than Small Money Contributions (a single issue candidate), your protest is just as ambiguous as A and B are.

    Unless your single issue write-in candidate has a significant impact on the election, the vast majority of the public will never even know how many votes your non-decisive protest candidate received.

    Unless you engage in mass marketing to promote a Small Money Single Issue candidate (which costs time effort and money) your strategy is a hollow threat.

    If you want to protest campaign contribution limits in a more effective manner, start a petition, write a letter to the editor, stand on the street corner with a sign, post something on You Tube, or any other means that publicly gives an explicit message that your chosen candidate and his or her MANY FOLLOWERS don't like big money contributions. At that point you have essentially into entered the muddy river of mainstream USA politics.

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    You seem to forget something- or are at least pretending to forget.

    The write in vote does not have to be for a candidate. Participating citizens casting the write in vote will be registered on the website so it is clear what the purpose of their write in vote is.

    But that doesn't fit the argument you want to make so you claim that the write in vote has to be for a candidate. Absolutely idiotic and transparently stupid.

    I can hardly wait for the next recycled bullshit.

    One way to get the idea into the public discourse, in addition to the things you have listed which other than stand on a street corner with a sign I have done as well as many things you did not list, is to contact journalists to encourage them to do their job and inform citizens aboot One Demand and comment in a public forum and keep at it until I get results- both of which I do here.

    And what is it you do here? Oh yeah. Troll me with distortions and childish bullshit instead of having adult discussions on political issues.

  28. [28] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    25

    The commitment to vote only for small contribution candidates is just that- a commitment to vote only for small contribution candidates.

    Yes. This is one-issue voting for candidates who only take contributions of $200 or less. There has never been a candidate for federal office that has met this qualification... not a single one.

    The participants agree on this one issue.

    Right... that's exactly why we keep referring to it as one-issue voting.

    The candidates must meet this basic qualification.

    Right... and there has never been a candidate that meets this one issue as defined on your website.

    Each of the participants decide then decide for themselves if the candidates that meet the basic qualification have suitable positions on other issues that are important to them.

    No, they don't then decide anything because no candidate at the federal level has ever met your one-issue qualification.

    As JL perfectly described it: "that's single issue NON-voting."

  29. [29] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-

    What website? You can't mean the stub you have now? You advertise a product that doesn't seem to exist, not even as a working prototype. Are you collaborating with any political activists or are you just a one man band? Have you any endorsements from political organizations or activists? Do have any training or experience in building and maintaining secure data bases? Do you have training or experience in marketing? In business or finance? Game Theory? Why should anybody invest time, money or credibility in you or your idea???

    Sorry "Don," but you seem a case of "no hat and no cattle." I smell grift or delusion, I'm not sure which, but either way, NO SALE.

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    WHAT!?! There are no candidates that meet the qualifications!?!

    That is the problem. There are no small contribution candidates. The idea is designed to solve that problem.

    How exactly does pointing out the problem the idea is designed to solve make the idea invalid?

    And again it is one issue that participants agree on as a starting point and then candidates that meet that basic requirement must meet the individual participant's requirements on other issues.

    You are labeling it one-issue voting as an attempt to portray it as if the participants vote only on that one issue to the exclusion of all other issues.

    Do you really think you are fooling anyone but yourself or those that agree that the emperor's new clothes are beautiful or do you just like pretending to be stupid?

  31. [31] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    STig-
    Ah, the website and qualifications dodges.

    None of that has any bearing on the idea. That is just stuff that YOU require to use as an excuse to avoid addressing the idea.

    Why should anyone invest anything in this idea? Because they might look at the idea itself and decide it is a good idea that could work instead of looking for and/or creating bullshit excuses why it should be ignored or why it won't work.

    If you had real reasons then you wouldn't have to recycle made up bullshit.

  32. [32] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-

    So, I take your reply to mean that your answers to my questions, in the order asked, are:

    no,1 man band

    no

    no

    no

    no

    no

    and for the final essay question:

    some some form of arm waving or maybe dancing around.

    NO PIE FOR YOU! COME BACK IN ONE YEAR!

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-

    You are not a garden variety internet troll. You are a comment section hagfish:

    Hagfish are long and vermiform, and can exude copious quantities of a milky and fibrous slime or mucus from some 100 glands or invaginations running along their flanks. When captured and held, e.g., by the tail, they secrete the microfibrous slime, which expands into up to 20 litres (5¼ US gallons) of sticky, gelatinous material when combined with water. If they remain captured, they can tie themselves in an overhand knot, which works its way from the head to the tail of the animal, scraping off the slime as it goes and freeing them from their captor. This singular behavior may assist them in extricating themselves from the jaws of predatory fish or from the interior of their own "prey", and the "sliming" might act as a distraction to predators.

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    30

    From here on out, I'm going to exclusively refer to you as DH. Your initials suit you because you're a DH.

    The idea is designed to solve that problem.
    How exactly does pointing out the problem the idea is designed to solve make the idea invalid?

    Never said it was "invalid," you uneducated shill. I said it was one-issue voting that amounted to non voting because no one meets the ridiculous criteria as defined by you.

    And again it is one issue that participants agree on as a starting point and then candidates that meet that basic requirement must meet the individual participant's requirements on other issues.

    Nice that you've decided to admit it is one/single-issue voting as we've reiterated over and over and you insisted it isn't when it obviously is.

    You are labeling it one-issue voting as an attempt to portray it as if the participants vote only on that one issue to the exclusion of all other issues.

    Wrong. It's single-issue voting -- actually non-voting -- because that's what it is. Your dearth of critical thinking skills is on full display when you continually and incessantly keep claiming to know what people are thinking. Also:

    You don't get to define other people's choices to fit your desires. ~ DH

    Do you really think you are fooling anyone but yourself or those that agree that the emperor's new clothes are beautiful or do you just like pretending to be stupid?

    Said the admitted uneducated guy who incessantly claims to know what other board commenters are thinking. Your obsession with fairy tales and trolling "with distortions and childish bullshit instead of having adult discussions on political issues" is again duly noted.

    TS is absolutely correct about you, DH: You're a slimy bottom feeder.

  35. [35] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig, Kick-
    Funny stuff.

    I commented on the article. You responded with recycled bullshit.

    The article is on the Overton Window. Your comments show a complete lack of understanding of what the Overton window is.

    You are looking at where the Overton Window is now and/or where it was as if it is in a fixed place and is a fixed size.

    The thing aboot the Overton Window is that it changes in size and location. One Demand is aboot where the Overton Window is trending towards and where it will and/or can be.

    So who are the slimy trolls? The people that do not understand or pretend to not understand and do not actually discuss issues related to the article or the comments made on the article.

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    this flame war is boring and one-sided. i miss michale; he would understand the importance of voting based on pie.

    JL

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    35

    One Demand is aboot where the Overton Window is trending towards and where it will and/or can be.

    One Demand is the ginormous failure with which you obsessively and incessantly troll the author and his readers.

    So who are the slimy trolls?

    People exactly like you who keep trolling and begging and actually believing the ridiculous nonsensical asinine notion that it is someone/anyone else's "responsibility" to shill for their failed bullshit. :)

  38. [38] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    Yes. It is my opinion that CW as a journalist that claims to present a reality based blog has responsibility to inform citizens aboot ideas.

    That it not at all a ridiculous nonsensical asinine notion.

    What is a ridiculous nonsensical asinine notion is that CW's current shilling for the Big Money Democrats is somehow presenting a reality based blog.

    When I post my opinion that CW is not doing his job and meeting his claim of presenting a reality based blog it is not trolling- it is posting my opinion.

    What you are doing is trolling because you are not posting an opinion related to the discussion- you are just recycling the same bullshit over and over, making stuff up and deflecting from the issue in discussion because you have no valid argument to refute my points.

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    38

    Yes. It is my opinion that CW as a journalist that claims to present a reality based blog has responsibility to inform citizens aboot ideas.

    This is not an issue that is subject to your interpretation or anyone else's, DH. It is a fact that there is no journalist on the planet who has a "responsibility" to inform citizens or anyone else about your "idea."

    That it not at all a ridiculous nonsensical asinine notion.

    Yes, it is most certainly asinine and nonsensical to keep claiming that a journalist has a responsibility to inform other people about your "idea" or anyone else's idea... unless it's pie, of course, because pie simply will not be ignored.

    What is a ridiculous nonsensical asinine notion is that CW's current shilling for the Big Money Democrats is somehow presenting a reality based blog.

    Since your first sentence made it abundantly clear that you have no idea what an opinion is, just letting you know that your sentence above actually fits the definition.

    When I post my opinion that CW is not doing his job and meeting his claim of presenting a reality based blog it is not trolling- it is posting my opinion.

    No, DH, it meets the definition of posting a lie since CW has no obligation to shill for your failed bullshit or anyone else's, and I suspect you know that but continue to repeat the lie that he owes you something. CW owes you nothing.

    What you are doing is trolling because you are not posting an opinion related to the discussion- you are just recycling the same bullshit over and over, making stuff up and deflecting from the issue in discussion because you have no valid argument to refute my points.

    Poor ignorant, DH, but when a bottom feeding troll keeps turning near every commentary into a discussion about his failed "idea" and whining incessantly and nonsensically that the author owes him a responsibility to discuss it, you and your trolling of the author with your needy bullshit thereby becomes part of the discussion... because you have once again made it a part of the discussion. It's not a complicated concept unless a person is an effing moron, which you have indubitably confessed to on your failed website. :)

    Oops... I said effing. Now I've gone and done it twice; I hate when that happens. ;)

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @kick,

    No, DH, it meets the definition of posting a lie since CW has no obligation to shill for your failed bullshit or anyone else's, and I suspect you know that but continue to repeat the lie that he owes you something. CW owes you nothing.

    i agree with don on this one - it's not a lie, it's an opinion. it may be a delusional opinion, but it's not a lie.

    Oops... I said effing. Now I've gone and done it twice; I hate when that happens. ;)

    "well there it is, your sister used the "F" word.
    ~i think she said 'feck'
    what's the difference?
    ~the letter U"
    __almost famous

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    40

    i agree with don on this one - it's not a lie, it's an opinion. it may be a delusional opinion, but it's not a lie.

    We've discussed this and tossed it around repeatedly now where DH claims that journalists who enjoy freedom of speech under the Constitution have a "responsibility" to speak "aboot" ideas like "One Demand," and this asinine notion is as factually inaccurate today as it has been every other time DH has claimed it, and he knows this. DH's continued claim, "opinion"... whatever... that "CW as a journalist... has a responsibility to inform citizens" when that "opinion" is at odds with the Constitution of the United States of America qualifies as the continual repetition and spewing of inaccurate information or a lie... choose your semantics.

    While we can certainly get into the arguing of semantics regarding "legal responsibility" or any other verbiage, the fact is that the First Amendment right to "freedom of speech" has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to include the right not to speak, the right not to salute the flag, etc. Claiming over and over that a journalist has a responsibility to inform the citizenry regarding his bullshit or anything else is "factually untrue," "inaccurate," take your semantical pick... because there is no journalist or teacher or politician or choose a profession and insert it here ---> ________ who has a "responsibility" to inform the citizenry "aboot" One Demand... and you know it, I know it, everyone reading this knows it, and even DH knows it.

    False assertions that are nothing more than the continual repeating of rhetoric can rise to the level of lies. This particular incorrect BS repeated in Trumpian fashion by DH qualifies thusly... I believe they are referring to such rhetorical BS as a "Bottomless Pinocchio" these days. False claims that are repeated so many times that they are, in effect, campaigns of disinformation.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/10/meet-bottomless-pinocchio-new-rating-false-claim-repeated-over-over-again/?utm_term=.377a0624ecfe

    "well there it is, your sister used the "F" word.
    ~i think she said 'feck'
    what's the difference?
    ~the letter U"
    __almost famous

    Heh!

    Natalie: Hello, David. I mean "sir." Shit, I can't believe I've just said that. And now I've gone and said "shit" - twice. I'm so sorry, sir.

    Prime Minister: It's fine, it's fine. You could've said "fuck," and then we'd have been in real trouble.

    Natalie: Thank you, sir. I did have an awful premonition that I was gonna fuck up on the first day. Oh, piss it!

    ~ love actually

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