The “Overton Window” is a concept that was born in rightwing American circles. It is a simple idea: everything within the window is seen as acceptable and mainstream, and everything outside is seen as extreme and fringe, but it can be shifted. With one ignominious intervention, the window has now been moved, and various anti-Muslim bigots can say: “Well Donald Trump has gone too far, but here’s what I would say instead.” They suddenly become the more moderate alternatives where once they would have been seen as themselves extreme. Mehdi Hasan has admitted to missing George W Bush because of the anti-Muslim shift that has taken place within the Republican fold since.
It wasn’t just what Trump said; it’s the fact his fans instantly cheered. This is no clown, no pitiful absurdity that can simply be laughed off. Trump is a menace, an inciter of bigotry and a recruiting sergeant for terrorism – and this must be taken seriously.
Somebody get this kid a paper bag before he hyperventilates.
Welcome to the new, new-normal kiddo!