The Worldnutdaily Plays Connect the Dots

There’s an endlessly amusing game being played on the loony right the last few years: Six degrees of Saul Alinsky (or George Soros or William Ayres). The Worldnutdaily plays yet another round of that game by pointing to a perfectly mundane and standard turn of phrase used by Obama:

In his address in Jerusalem today, President Obama channeled Saul Alinsky, citing the radical community organizer’s defining mantra as he urged young Israelis to “create change” to nudge their leadership to act.

Obama told a crowd of college students at Jerusalem’s main convention center that Israel “has the wisdom to see the world as it is, but also the courage to see the world as it should be.”

One of Alinsky’s major themes was working with the world as it “is” to turn it into the world as “it should be.”

In his defining work, “Rules for Radicals,” which he dedicated to “the first rebel,” Lucifer, Alinsky used those words to lay out his main agenda. He asserted radical change must be brought about by working within a system instead of attacking it from the outside.

“It is necessary to begin where the world is if we are going to change it to what we think it should be. That means working in the system,” wrote Alinsky.

Ooh, bonus points for not only linking Obama to Alinsky but Alinsky to Lucifer (and thus Obama to Lucifer). Of course, it would be trivially easy to find conservatives using this same common turn of phrase, which would prove…well, nothing. It would prove the same thing this proves, which is only that they have stumbled upon a common rhetorical framing device. But even with those bonus points, I’d only give this about a 3 on a 10 scale. If they really want to get a high score, they would have found a quote from Hitler saying something vaguely similar.


  1. Artor says

    Wasn’t it Donald Rumsfeld, that known leftist radical, who said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish for.” Why, that’s just like he’s possessed by the ghost of Ayers! Therefore Satan.

  2. kantalope says

    Aw man, I was so disappointed. Rules for Radicals was not dedicated to Lucifer, Satan, or even Beelzebub:

    Personal Acknowledgments
    To Jason Epstein for his prodding, patience and understanding, and for
    being a beautiful editor.
    To Cicely Nichols for the hours of painstaking editorial assistance.
    To Susan Rabiner for being the shock absorber between the corporate
    structure of Random House and this writer.
    To Georgia Harper my heartfelt gratitude for the months of typing and
    typing and for staying with me through the years of getting this book
    To Irene

    Some of those names do appear to be Jewishish and if you add some letters and take some letters away Irene could be an anagram for Satan but you would think it would have been more straight forward.

  3. says

    Re Lucifer:

    Media Matters dealt with this already:

    It wasn’t a dedication but Alinsky quoting himself near the beginning of the book and, I suspect, with tongue firmly in cheek:

    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.

    Now who in the body politic is most likely to confuse mythology with history?

  4. sanford says

    I wonder how many these wingnuts have actually read rules for radicals. I found it on line. As for working within the system,, isn’t that how it usually done?

  5. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Create change eh? What a meaningless nonsense expression that is anyhow.

    Change is the only constant happening over time regardless of what is created or destroyed. Erosion, nuclear fusion in the core of stars, biological and geological processes and, of course, the constant expansion of entropy as dictated by (from memory) the second law of thermodynamics. Everything is always changing although the rate of change may be faster or slower because of various factors. Even the proton decays at leats according to some cosmological theories.

    Creating something by definition makes change – adds something to the cosmos whether that creation in question is a new idea or a new artwork or a new life.

    So creation always means change & change is inevitable and happens due to both creation and destruction and of course transformation.

    That phrase is then redundant outside of specific changes created by specific things which then needs to be specified for clarity.

    “Create change” is horrible & redundant nonsense phrase in any two word statement by itself whoever uses it whether Obama or the wingnuts or anyone else I think.

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