Grandpa and The Overton Window

I (DM) became a grandpa twice more in 2014.

Inconceivable!

How can I, a young man of 27  be a grandpa four times over???

Wife was asked to babysit with Kasen  Saturday night so I tagged along.

Sitting on the couch with this grand baby on my lap filled me with a quiet joy. As long as I don’t have to change any dirty diapers I am good to go.

The TV was on, when the words of a song caught my ear:

” Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this world’s gone crazy
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn’t seem so hazy…”

(See the end of the post if you want to listen to the song.)

My grandpa used to talk to us about the “good old days.”

He’d say things like:

“Ha – the  good old days….You can have them!”

He was referring to living through  two World Wars,  the Great Depression, delivering babies at home on the kitchen table,  no indoor plumbing until  the 1940’s, and so on.

On those levels,  I would have to agree.

But as I sat there snuggling  Kasen,  my mind  kept thinking about the words, “Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn’t seem so hazy…”
and a  conversation I remember reading between  my favorite writer, Andree Seu Peterson and Congressman Frank Wolf.

Wolf  asked Peterson if she’d ever heard of  the “Overton Window”?

Nope.

He  held out his hands and framed them into a window.

I’m paraphrasing the conversation as I remember it:

   “Imagine, a yardstick.  On either end are the extremes of  any political issue. Between the ends lie all gradations of thought from one extreme to the other. The essence of the Overton window is that only a portion of the spectrum is within the realm of the politically possible at any time…”

What once was considered unthinkable, goes through several steps until it becomes policy:

Unthinkable,

Radical

Acceptable

Sensible

Popular

Policy

_________

The Overton Window is a great analogy to me of what is happening in my culture, not just in the political sphere, but pop culture as a whole.  The lines between right and wrong , truth and lies feel blurred.

“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.” 

Paul Joseph Goebbel   ( Minister of Propaganda for Adolph Hitler during WW II)

Would love to hear your thoughts on any of this.

Do we have “ministers of propaganda” today? (even if they don’t officially go by that title)  The more specific the better.

Any examples come to mind of “lies repeated often enough that they have become truth” in your life time?

What sources of information do you trust to help you  stay informed?

What are some of the things you do in your life to  keep your bearings?

Tell me about your grandpa.

Here’s a picture of my grandpa the day he helped me butcher 100 chickens the Fall of 1982:

opa 1982

If I were a betting man, I think I am going to look a lot like this picture in another 30 years.  DM

Here is a recent picture with the four grand kids.  Rigg was not real happy about getting his picture taken. Kasen (on the right) seems to be thinking “What’s all racket about cuz???”

grandkids 2015

Later- DM

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4 Responses to Grandpa and The Overton Window

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    Drug reps would be the ministers of propaganda in my world…. 😉

  2. m1cey says:

    Lies that have become truth:
    1. People are born homosexual, it’s genetic.
    2. Abortion is a right. Animal abuse is cruel and inhumane.
    3. Having sex with children is okay if you do it in places like Thailand.

    Crazy!

  3. Allie says:

    I really enjoyed the book “The Overton Window” and as for this very cool blog which this Iowan just found, well let me say how delighted I am! In my humble opinion, it is insanity to say a lie so often you then pretend it’s the truth, yet that is precisely what is happening in our beloved republic. So now, a man in a dress (transvestite) can call himself a woman, and if a very young man does this, he gets to change in the same locker room as young freshman girls at the local high school. I suppose then, that I could call myself a “beach babe.” However, as a mature gal in my fifties, it would be laughable to wearing any bathing suit, let alone a bikini, at my current fitness level. Anyway, very cool post.

  4. therapydoc says:

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats grandparenting.

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