Ben Carson, Lucifer, Saul Alinsky, And Hillary Clinton
|Dr. Ben Carson Speaking at 2016 GOP Convention|
(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images Via Forbes Article)
Dr. Ben Carson, in his speech before the GOP Convention, departed from his prepared remarks. He extemporaneously added a riff on Saul Alinsky. He debuted this right wing crowd-pleaser in his keynote speech at the Faith And Freedom Coalition Gala, a speech which I critiqued at length in an essay at ThePulse2016, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Saul Alinsky, and Donald Trump. Here’s how it goes:
Now, interestingly enough, let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky. He wrote a book called, “Rules for Radicals.” On the dedication page it acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who gained his own kingdom.
Now, think about that, this is a nation where our founding document, the Declaration of Independence talked about certain inalienable rights that come from our creator. This is a nation where our Pledge of Allegiance says we are one nation under God.
This is a nation.
This is a nation where every coin in our pocket, and every bill in our wallet says, “In God We Trust.” So, are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer? Think about that.
Dr. Carson’s sly riff was riddled with errors, omissions and innuendos. It culminates in a rather shameful imputation of a Satanic cast to Hillary Clinton. Let’s set the record straight.
Alinsky’s “over the shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical,” Lucifer, was amidst the epigrams to, not the dedication of, Rules for Radicals (which in truth is dedicated to Irene, Alinsky’s wife.) It is the third of three epigrams, following:
'Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul…' —THOMAS PAINE
The context puts quite a different light on the over-the-shoulder “Luciferian” epigram:
Alinsky was conveying the opposite of the meaning inferred by Dr. Carson. In a long interview published in Playboy shortly after, before his untimely 1972 death Alinsky (a genial agnostic and proudly self-identified Jew, no Satanist, not even an atheist) was probed and responded:
ALINSKY: Hell would be heaven for me. All my life I’ve been with the have-nots. Over here, if you’re a have-not, you’re short of dough. If you’re a have-not in hell, you’re short of virtue. Once I get into hell, I’ll start organizing the have-nots over there.
PLAYBOY: Why them?
ALINSKY: They’re my kind of people.
If Dr. Carson had taken a moment from his misplaced glee even to casually study Saul Alinsky he would have discovered that Alinsky’s spiritual mentor was none other than Jacques Maritain, one of the great Catholic philosophers of the 20th century and a prime author of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Alinsky and Maritain maintained a multi-decade affectionate correspondence, collected in The Philosopher and the Provocateur.
In his final letter to Alinsky, Maritain writes, of Rules for Radicals,
“A heroic witness of Judaeo-Christian tradition.”
Saul Alinsky: Commie Fighter.
The plot further thickens.
Alinsky utterly detested Big Government.
Alinsky publicly called LBJ’s Great Society and War on Poverty “political pornography” … much to the consternation of Lyndon Johnson’s acolyte Sargent Shriver, its architect. If Dr. Carson had read past the page of epigrams in Rules for Radicals he might have encountered this passage at pages 122-3 (among many others displaying an identical ethos):
Yes Hillary Rodham wrote her honors thesis on Alinsky (from whom she turned away, choosing instead to advance her humanitarian aspirations within, rather than outside, the System). I have written about it here in The Secret Hillary Rodham, Parts One and Two. The thesis is the work of a prodigy, well worth reading in its entirety. One passage especially stands out:
The problems inherent in such an approach, including elitist arrogance and repressive intolerance, have become evident during recent university crises.
Hillary, notwithstanding our deep policy disputes, presented and presents as an excellent Methodist. Not a Satanist. Not a Marxist. Just an idealistic young woman concerned with social justice and how best to bring it about.
Alinsky had a major impact on, and might even be said to have redefined, modern politics. It is no accident that young Barack Obama and young Hillary Clinton, influenced by his work, went on to political glory.
Our political culture has not yet assimilated Alinsky’s profound ethos of human dignity — abjuring “elitist arrogance and repressive intolerance” — to the same extent that it has assimilated his tactics. Alinsky’s legacy very much remains a work in process. It’s a really valuable one that should be explored rather than grotesquely caricatured.
Misunderstanding and misrepresenting Saul Alinsky is an obsession on the right. Dinesh D’Souza is a notable recidivist perp. Charles Koch, in an essay in The Wall Street Journal, made the manifestly absurd accusation that Alinsky was a collectivist and was opposed to free and open debate. These are two principles to which Alinsky was passionately, courageously, devoted.
Newt Gingrich made Alinsky a regular epithet throughout his 2012 primary campaign. The list is too long to cite in full yet lest we forget, at least an over the shoulder acknowledgement to true fellow radical David Horowitz’s uniquely lucid critique of Alinsky, Barack Obama’s Rules For Revolution: The Alinsky Model.
Journalist Clarence Page concluded, “I’m changing my view of Gingrich’s Alinsky obsession. It might be the result of love more than hate. After all, they have so much in common.”
Saul Alinsky, ironically, is the chief object of fascination of the most enthusiastic provocateurs of the right.
Currently prominent among these: Dr. Ben Carson.
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action's Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes.
Tags: Ralph Benko, Ben Carson, Lucifer, Saul Alinsky, Hillary Clinton, 2016 Election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!