Conservative Review, by Nate Madden, Oct. 2, 2016:
Hillary Clinton may be gaining in recent presidential polls against Donald Trump, but before those Americans go to the polls for the former secretary of state, they really ought to take a look at one of her most famous mentors: Saul Alinsky.
To many in the world, the name Alinksy has become a special kind of boogeyman, a watchword for everything wrong with the modern American Left. And rightly so. Deemed the “father of community organizing,” the Chicago native and sociological theorist dedicated his life work to developing the activism framework that has left its mark on nearly every single leftist political campaign in the mid-to-late 20th century.
A new documentary from EWTN, Arcadia Films, and City of Light Studios, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” explores just how Alinsky developed his theories of community organizing. He gleaned wisdom from his experiences with the Chicago mob and communists during the Great Depression, and imparted his theories of agitation, deceit, intimidation, and confusion to liberal ideologues for decades to come.
In Alinsky’s worldview, the civil rights movement, the Catholic Church, and civic organizations were little more than vehicles to an ultimate end. Through detailed biographical storytelling, the documentary takes the viewer step-by-step from the crime-ridden streets of Chicago into the very halls of power that he was able to infiltrate and infect with his savage and diabolical tactics.
True to the film’s name, it begins with a parable of a wolf who dresses himself in sheepskin to infiltrate a herd of sheep with the intent of subjecting the lot to slaughter. In the same context, it shows the true nature of Alinsky’s work and vision that were draped in the language of helping the world’s “have-nots,” but doing so through the means of subverting the family, traditional institutions, morality, and truth itself under a mechanism dripping with the aphorisms of Marx and Machiavelli.
All throughout, scenes of violence, manipulation, infiltration, and political chaos are juxtaposed against Alinsky himself (portrayed by a reserved and morose Jim Morlino), interposing a series of short lines that offer the viewer a deeper look into the man behind the movement. This is a man to whom truth and reality were subjective stumbling blocks on the road to Marxist ideals of progress, and who would stop at nothing to impose that ideal on the American people.
“A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” is undoubtedly an overtly Catholic production, but its insight into the life of one of the 20th century’s most dangerous American thinkers is valuable to audiences of all worldviews. This is especially true given the dire implications of the film’s message in light of the current presidential election cycle and the seemingly rapid progress that the political Left has already made during the Obama years.
Many are aware of President Obama’s connection to Alinsky, as outlined in a 2009 article by Jim Geraghty at National Review. But while Obama merely studied under Alinsky’s disciples during his tenure in Chicago, Hillary Clinton learned directly from the man himself.
Alinsky’s influence on the Democratic presidential nominee was unavoidable and intrinsic to her political development. Not only did Clinton — then Rodham — write a 92-page thesis about Alinsky’s tactics at Wellesley College, letters a few years ago reveal that the organizer’s influence on the future first lady are greater than originally thought.
“Dear Saul, When is that new book coming out—or has it come and I somehow missed the fulfillment of Revelation?” a 23-year-old Hillary wrote in 1971 about Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. “I have just had my one-thousandth conversation about Reveille [for radicals, written by Alinky in 1946] and need some new material to throw at people.”
As Jen Kuznicki points out elsewhere at Conservative Review: “Hillary’s whole life has been dedicated to socialist/communist ends. The fact that the arguments and the anger fomented by Alinsky in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s are the same arguments and anger of today’s Obama/Clinton model is telling.
“David Brock, in his 1996 biography, ‘The Seduction of Hillary Rodham,’ called Hillary ‘Alinsky’s daughter.’ That is an apt label,” he continues. “Where Alinsky tactics are used now on both sides to confuse and agitate, Hillary is poised to become the supreme leader with all the power and tools of our monstrous government at her fingertips.”
Donald Trump’s rhetoric may have pushed some Christians toward Hillary Clinton, but perhaps an honest and sober look at her inspiration will push them back.
Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religious freedom, jihadism, and the judiciary. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate’s writing has previously appeared in several religious and news publications. Follow him @NateMadden_IV.