Readjusting the Overton Window


The Overton Window is the range of ideas which are considered acceptable for public consideration and debate. It moves around as the climate of public opinion changes.

President Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore was an attempt to move the window upward to include a more respectful view of the Enlightenment principles generally held by the Founding Fathers and away from the Postmodern Neo-marxist worldview underpinning much of the turbulence in America these days. I hope he was successful. I’m not sure that he was. Oh, he did a fine job of rallying the people who already agree with him, but he was preaching to the choir.

Let me extend that metaphor a bit. I’m not sure how effective he was as an evangelist, one who brings good news to the unconverted. There are a large number of Americans who have come to believe the marxist fallacy that everything can be defined as a power struggle among various identity groups, and that someone else’s is the result of privilege and oppression. They want what they see as their turn controlling the levers of power, and many of them are willing to tear down the current system in order to change things.

What many of them don’t understand is the difference between the ideals of the American Revolution and so many others—the people have granted power to the government so it may serve them not rule over them. Those who wish to be change things so that they can become part a new ruling class need to look at the history of those other revolutions. Only a few of the revolutionaries become part of the nomenklatura, and even fewer make it into the Inner Party. The rest become the proles in a failing society.

The good news these folks need to hear is that the American Revolution produced a melting pot society where everyone’s positive contribution has a chance to prosper. It’s not a perfect society, but it’s the best humanity has come up with to date. Events such as the Minneapolis riots or the failure of Antifastan in Seattle are hitting some with a dose of Reality that may show them the folly of their worldview.

It will be interesting to see how they react.

Meanwhile, I hope President’s speech successfully framed some of the questions to be considered by the public between now and the Third of November.

Littering?


Gentle Reader, you’ve probably heard about those traffic cones that the National Park Service put up to block access to roadside areas where tourists can pull over for a view of Mt. Rushmore. The highway is South Dakota 244. It’s a state road. It’s not a federal road.

The cones have been taken down because of a snow storm. If they reappear, why shouldn’t whoever puts them back be charged with littering?

Mt. Rushmore Redux


Jazz Shaw poses an interesting question: What if the Mt. Rushmore monument hadn’t been built yet? Who would be on it now? Or could it even be built today?

Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln would surely be on the rock. Who would get the fourth space? Would Reagan replace Teddy Roosevelt? Some folks might want JFK or Barack Obama (first black President and an Nobel Peace Prize same as TR). Mr. Shaw suggests Dwight Eisenhower. I’d guess that there would be a big push for FDR, and I think a case could be made for Andrew Jackson.

Still, I’d bet that it probably wouldn’t be built. The thought of the environmental paperwork reminds me of this joke:

God comes to Noah and says, “There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that I’m going to destroy the world with a flood, but you and your family will be saved on the Ark you will build. The bad news is that you have to do the paperwork for the EPA.”