CLEVELAND – In a bizarre, meandering departure from his prepared remarks, Dr. Ben Carson suggested that electing Hillary Clinton would be the same as endorsing the devil himself.
Speaking near the end of Day Two at the Republican National Convention, former rival of nominee Donald Trump, Carson brought up Saul Alinsky, the community organizer whose work Hillary Clinton wrote about while at college in Wellesley.
“Her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky,” said Carson. “This was someone that she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophies subsequently. 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.’”
“This is a nation where our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, talks about certain inalienable rights that come from our creator,” Carson continued. “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.”
Carson’s riff on Lucifer was not part of his prepared remarks distributed to reporters earlier Tuesday night, nor did it appear on the teleprompter in the arena. But it was not the first time he has mused on a Clinton-to-Alinsky-to-Satan connection. Just last month, Carson launched into a similar digression at a New York City gathering where conservative evangelicals met with Donald Trump.
When asked by a reporter earlier Tuesday what he planned to talk about in his speech, Carson replied, “Only God knows the answer to that.”
A majority of the speakers during the first two nights of the Republican National Convention have taken time to attack the Democratic nominee.
Carson, a supremely talented and revolutionary neurosurgeon, saw his run for the Republican nomination plagued by odd remarks. He suggested the Egyptian pyramids were used to store grain, that homosexuality was a choice and that there were no such things as war crimes as long as the actions helped Americans win. Earlier Tuesday Carson told Yahoo News in an interview that it was “silly” to believe that humans could change genders, comparing it to someone deciding they wanted to swap ethnicities after seeing a movie.
Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” is dedicated to his wife, Irene, and not the prince of darkness, but it does mention Lucifer at the end of his personal acknowledgements. The full quote is as follows:
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer”
Clinton, however, has never mentioned any interest in being a Satanist, and has in fact spoken often about her Christian faith and lifelong membership in the United Methodist Church. Her thesis on Alinsky was locked in the Wellesley archives during her husband’s presidency at the request of the White House, but became available after he left office. Clinton includes a quote from T.S. Eliot at the beginning of the 90-page document, which is also where the name of the paper is drawn from, but makes no mention of Lucifer. The paper serves as an analysis of Alinsky’s work, not a rubber-stamping of his beliefs.