One of the biggest factors that President Obama and the US now face with regard to financial, healthcare and climate issues is the Overton Window:
The Overton Window is a means of visualizing which ideas define that range of acceptance by where they fall in it, and adding new ideas that can push the old ideas towards acceptance merely by making the limits more extreme.__________
Specifically, the rabid
Reich- Right-wing lunacy over 8 of the preceding 9 years, increasingly shrill now that they've lost both the White House and majority control of Congress, has painted a very uninformed, intellectually dishonest picture of the causes, effects and cures for all the major issues we now face. In order to make lasting change, the President must first plug the major damages, then shift public & policy perspectives via the Overton Window in order to set the stage for making lasting changes.
Moving the Overton Window, named after the originator of the term, is essentially a method of changing the public's perception of acceptability:
Overton described a method for moving that window, thereby including previously excluded ideas, while excluding previously acceptable ideas. The technique relies on people promoting ideas even less acceptable than the previous "outer fringe" ideas. That makes those old fringe ideas look less extreme, and thereby acceptable. The idea is that priming the public with fringe ideas intended to be and remain unacceptable, will make the real target ideas seem more acceptable by comparison.__________
It takes a lot of time and effort to make major policy shifts even when not addressing the possible effects of public perception. Changing national policies has often been described as driving a very large bus or delivery truck, or attempting to turn a huge ship at sea: it starts changing direction slowly and is a bit unwieldy to steer. President Obama's words at the world climate talks at Copenhagen reminded me of this: