Last night at the GOP National Convention, Dr. Ben Carson may have handed Hillary Clinton the Satanist vote:
“One of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky. And her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky. This was someone that she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophy subsequently.
“Now, interestingly enough, let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky. He wrote a book called Rules for Radicals. On the dedications page, it acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who gained his own kingdom. This is a nation where our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, talks 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 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.”
Not needing time to think, the crowd roared “No!”
Evidently, in the medieval world of the RNC, you can condemn your opponent as an instrument of the devil and not get laughed out of the room. In fact, when you finish your speech, the crowd will reward you with more than a minute of sustained and frenzied applause.
Ironically, earlier in his speech, the retired neurosurgeon reviewed his intellectual credentials:
“I devoted my career to studying and operating on the human brain. This remarkable organ defines our humanity. It gives us the ability to not only feel and observe, but to reason. When we elect a president, we need to use that power of reasoning to look at their history, their character, what kind of people they really are.”
In that spirit, let us review Carson’s insinuation that the former First Lady serves Satan:
Did Hillary Clinton regard Saul Alinsky as a a hero and mentor?
No. Her senior thesis analyzed the methods of the radical activist, which she criticized as “anachronistic” and “inapplicable” by the late ’60s.
Alinsky apparently mistook her for an admirer, because he tried to hire her when she graduated. “His offer of a place in the new institute was tempting,” she wrote at the time, “but after spending a year trying to make sense out of his inconsistency, I need three years of legal rigor.” She declined the job offer to study law at Yale.
Did Alinsky’s influence “affect all her philosophy subsequently”?
No. Alinsky taught that only radical agitation from outside the system could force true change. Ms. Clinton has devoted her adult life to reforming the legal and political system from within.
Did Alinsky really follow the Prince of Darkness?
No. In context, it is clear that Alinsky (a secular Jew) regarded Lucifer as a figure from “mythology,” so the acknowledgement is a joke. (Nobel Laureate Salman Rushdie tersely tweeted: “Can’t expect Ben Carson to recognize irony or humor.”)
It is difficult to discern whether Ben Carson is a retired brain surgeon or a recovering brain donor.