Beck misreads Alinsky to link teachers to Satan

Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

In an absurd monologue attacking President Obama and those affiliated with him as radicals, Glenn Beck again singled out Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, which he described as being recommended for "our teachers and our students" by the National Educational Association (NEA):

First, the NEA's recommendation reads as follows:

NEA recommends the following Saul Alinsky books to those members of our Association who are involved in grassroots organizing, especially Association Representatives (ARs) -- also known as building reps or shop stewards -- and leaders at local affiliates.

Saul Alinsky is widely recognized as the father of, and pre-imminent expert in, grassroots organizing, which is why we recommend that ARs and local leaders become familiar with his theories & materials.

There is no recommendation that the book be read by students. NEA's other book recommendations are similarly targeted to the group's members as they discuss dealing with introverts and strategies for dealing with obstacles to change within an organization.

But even more dishonest is Beck's outright falsehood that Rules for Radicals is "dedicated to" Lucifer. In fact, Rules for Radicals is dedicated to people who apparently helped Alinsky to put the book together and "To Irene" (presumably his wife) as seen here:

What apparently got Beck's worn-out conspiracy senses tingling was a reference to "Lucifer" on a page of quotations at the beginning of the book:

Alinsky references Lucifer as a radical that won his own kingdom (apparently, Hell), but doesn't dedicate his book to the Devil, as Beck claims. Alinsky's prologue goes on to advocate for change within existing political systems, arguing that "the price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people" and that "[g]reat dangers always accompany great opportunities. The possibility of destruction is always implicit in the act of creation." The NEA website also notes:

Alinsky's writings have been called the "mother's milk of the left," however in an ironic homage, the conservative right has borrowed a page or two from the Alinsky playbook. Tea Party leader and self-described "conservative radical" Michael Patrick Leahy, for example, has authored a book based on Alinsky's teachings: "Rules for Conservative Radicals."

By Beck's definition, Tea Party activists are engaging in activities gleaned from a book dedicated to Lucifer, which would be absurd. But that's the message Beck is pushing.

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