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Episode 21 - Technically Free Speech

This is maybe my favorite anecdote about Teddy Roosevelt, and it showcases his shrewdness. At the same time, I do think there are questions about whether he could have done more and stayed within the bounds of the First Amendment. This guy was preaching the subjugation of an entire group of people, and they were right to fear the far-reaching effects of his spew of hatred. It's an amusing anecdote, but it does seem to play fast and loose with the concerns of the Jewish citizens who asked for help.


I don't want to give Ahlwardt too much more ink, either, but it's good to note that the newspapers of the day were having none of it. The New York Times ran a story pretty much to poke fun at the fact that the only people there to greet him at his much-publicized arrival in New York City were reporters since nobody wanted to be seen with him. Another article was just a long series of quotes from prominent people denouncing Ahlwardt and anti-Semitism. It kind of makes you wonder if things have gone a little backward...


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