Critical analysis


A recent Letter to the Editor states correctly that Hillary Rodham Clinton (Wellesley College honors student) wrote her senior thesis about Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals.” The letter, however, misrepresents this connection to insinuate some sort of common philosophical belief between Clinton and Alinsky. This deception appears entirely intentional.

What the letter does not reveal is that Rodham’s 92-page thesis of Alinsky’s methods critiques them “as largely ineffective” and concluded that “his power/conflict model is rendered inapplicable by existing social conflicts.” Rodham eventually theorized that Alinsky’s model had not expanded nationally due to “the anachronistic nature of small autonomous conflict.” It is this type of astute critical analysis that made her the brilliant lawyer, mother, senator, and secretary of state she would become.

In the thesis’s acknowledgements, Rodham thanked Alinsky for the two interviews and a job offer he provided her. She declined the latter, saying that “after spending a year trying to make sense out of Alinsky’s inconsistency, I need three years of legal rigor.”

This is hardly the Clinton endorsement of Alinsky’s radicalized ideas that the letter to the editor insinuated or her. Nor does Clinton or Obama have anything to do with Alinsky’s dedicating his book to Lucifer. Those are simply libelous “guilt by association” indictments where the association doesn’t even exist.

Interviewing a mass murderer does not make you one yourself. I would even go so far as to say that this type of trickery should have been number one on the list of “rules for radicals.”

By the way, she received an A for the paper.

David Ryan

Dallas, Texas

Formerly of Kingsford