In the 2016 US Presidential Election, Donald Trump won over Hillary Clinton with 306 electoral votes. How is this possible? The answer lies in a little-known psychological theory called “The Overton Window.”
This article will explain what it means and why it’s so dangerous to democracy. I believe Trump won the 2016 election because our society has been numbed by a perpetual state of fear, distrust and confusion. The Overton Window is an often-used term in political science that refers to how politicians can shift what might previously have seemed like extreme viewpoints into more mainstream ideas through rhetoric or actions.
Trump exemplifies this theory perfectly: he used some outrageous statements to gain momentum during his campaign (e.g., “Hillary Clinton should be locked up”) but then walked them back once elected so they would seem sensible instead of radical (e.g., now he says she went too far with her email server). Nearly every day brings new evidence confirming that President Donald J. Trump—a man who lost the popular