Dr. Ben Carson brought up Lucifer at the Republican National Convention, by way of saying that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was just two steps removed from such evil. "Are we willing to elect someone as president who has, as their role model, somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?" Carson asked. The Clinton role model to whom Carson refers is the late writer and activist Saul Alinsky, who died in 1972 when Clinton was still in law school. Clinton wrote her undergraduate thesis on Alinsky. His famous book, Rules for Radicals, is seen as a handbook for community activism. It's edge is somewhat tempered by its subtitle: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. Some compare Alinsky's work to that of Thomas Paine, famous American patriot. The book purports to teach "how to effect constructive social change."
Conservatives have used Alinsky as a defining connection before, however, though not usually through Alinsky's joke about Lucifer being the first "radical." The most famous former "community organizer" in the world, Barack Obama, had Alinsky's name thrown at him, too. GOP firebrand Newt Gingrich said in 2012 that "Saul Alinsky radicalism is at the heart of Obama." It was memorable enough that somebody wrote a book called
Saul Alinsky: The Evil Genius Behind Obama.