Hillary Clinton's Letters to Communist Saul Alinsky Matter, and the Media Will Bury Them

Alanna Goodman has published "The Hillary Letters," which details letters between a young Hillary Clinton and an aging Saul Alinsky. Alinsky's communist beliefs plus his community organizing theories have infused and informed the activist left for decades. Barack Obama, the community organizer turned president who clearly believes in "spreading the wealth around," is the first full-blown Alinskyite to reach the presidency.

The Hillary letters to Alinsky matter for a couple of reasons. The Clinton presidency was billed as a "third way" presidency, not a creature of the right or the left, but of pragmatism. They were so-called New Democrats who eschewed the far-left collectivist politics and the right's market-oriented policies, for something said to be more "moderate." President Bill Clinton even famously declared that "the era of big government is over." It seemed at the time that the Reagan argument for smaller government and freer markets had won a permanent victory.

There are no permanent victories in American politics, but a determined politician can bring about systemic changes that have permanent impact. We're still spending billions on LBJ's failed "War on Poverty." Reagan crushed the Soviet Union. Obama had permanent systemic change in mind before his election in 2008, when he dared admit that he would "fundamentally transform the country."

Into what?, the media should have asked. But they didn't, and these incurious, throne-sniffing hacks will not ask it when Hillary sets about to complete the transformation, with less upfront rhetoric.

The letters prove that a young Hillary Clinton was, if not a communist, then so sympathetic to communism that she sought out a communist leader and communicated warmly with him. That's very significant. At the time she wrote her letters to Alinsky, America was engaged in a great ideological struggle against communism. America represented human freedom; communism represented oppression and violence.

That struggle took the form of the battle of ideas in the Cold War, and an actual shooting war in Vietnam. That struggle divided Europe at the Berlin Wall. It still divides North and South Korea. The communists were threatening to destroy the United States from without and within, by war and by guile. Ideologues like Saul Alinsky were key to that second strategy.

Alinsky was no fool. He had chosen of his own free will to side against freedom and he knew exactly what he was doing. Hillary Clinton, also no fool, chose to become one of Alinsky's acolytes. She was an adult. She knew what she was doing. She has downplayed her association with Alinsky for decades, most of her life now.

Alinsky's radicalism was a unique brand. While many communists joined the party officially and openly, Alinsky determined that openness (honesty) was the wrong way to go. He believed that Americans would always reject communism if it was presented as such. He believed that radicals should hide their true intentions and transform America from capitalism to communism through gradual change. They should avoid membership in the Communist Party while working through more mainstream associations like the Democratic Party. A successful Alinskyite is a communist who is also an accomplished liar.

Hillary Clinton agreed with all of that. She was a radical's radical according to those letters that she wrote to Alinsky, but one who accepted that stealth would achieve more than honesty ever would. She was every bit as far left as Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or any other socialist Democrat out there. But she presents herself as more of a Third Way moderate.