Overton’s model was developed to explain adjustments in the political climate. But I believe it can also illuminate how profound and deleterious changes are advanced in our culture. If the goal were to undermine cultural institutions, the process for getting from Unthinkable to Policy would follow these five easy steps:
Step #1: From Unthinkable to Radical — The first step is the easiest—provided the issue can become a fetish or the topic of an academic symposium. Since both the professoriate and the perverts have a fascination with the faux-transgressive (the truly transgressive [i.e., Christianity] tends to terrify them) all you need to do is get the attention of one of these groups. It doesn't matter which you start with since the politics of the bedroom and the classroom inevitably overlap.
Step #2: From Radical to Acceptable — This shift requires the creation and employment of euphemism. Want to kill a child exiting the womb? Call it "dilation and extraction” and infanticide becomes a medical procedure. Want to include sodomitic unions under the banner of “marriage?” Redefine the term “marriage” to mean the state-endorsed copulation of any two(?) people who want to share a bed and a tax form. Be sure to say it is about “love”—in our culture, eros excuses everything.
There will naturally be a few holdouts, of course, but those who reject the shift from Radical to Acceptable can be shamed into approving. All that is required is to deploy a stingingly suitable insult. The word “bigot”, for instance, is more effective than a billy club at beating the young into submission. There are few core beliefs they won’t change to avoid being called a bigot. The disapproval of their Creator is unfortunate; enduring the disfavor of their peers is unimaginable.
Step #3: From Acceptable to Sensible — There is nothing more sensible than to submit to one’s god. And while Americans may profess to worship Allah, Jehovah, or Jesus, we mostly worship an American Idol—ourselves. That is why social libertarianism has become our country’s fastest-growing cult. It has tapped into this self-idolatry by preaching a gospel of the Individual. It’s a pragmatic and accepting message. You were, as its chief evangelist Lady Gaga says, “born this way”: “It doesn't matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M / Just put your paws up /'Cause you were born this way, baby.”
Step #4: From Sensible to Popular — This step merely requires personalizing the issue. Do you know someone who is LGBT? Divorced? Had an abortion? Sure you do, they are in your family, in your
school, at your church.
Do you hate them? If not, then how can you still disapprove of their actions? (Note: Be sure to talk fast so that no one follows the logic.)
Remember, "I'm OK; You're OK!"
As it says in the Good Book (or maybe in a Lady Gaga song), judge not lest God judge you for judging. You want people to like you, don’t you? Then express popular approval for what your cultural betters (e.g., people on reality TV) believe should be popularly approved.
Then you’ll be popular and it won't be necessary to call you a bigot.
Step #5: From Popular to Policy — Commission a public opinion poll. Show it to a politician. They’ll do the rest.
Source: an excerpt form How to Destroy a Culture in 5 Easy Steps (FirstThings.com)