By 1940, it was clear to Eugene Talmadge that Georgia was in need of him more than ever. The last four years since he had left the governorship, the state had steadily grown bankrupt from the policies of the sitting governor, Ed Rivers. Rivers was a New Deal Man, and for all sake and purposes, rode FDR’s coat tails to the governorship of Georgia. Being that Talmadge had been beaten twice for a US senate seat by both of the sitting senators (in ’36 by Russell and ’38 by Walter George) and losing his bid to stop FDR in the 30’s, Talmadge realized his chances to become governor again seemed a better plan. The failure of “the Little New Deal” in Georgia proved to Talmadge he was right all along about the New Deal.
1940 Campaign for Governor & Pre-Pearl Harbor
Talmadge, by 1940 and despite his two Senate race bids, had proven himself a capable candidate even whipping FDR’s handpicked man in the 1938 senate race (he eventually lost the race to Senator George). One thing to take note is that the media (mainly newspapers back then) would slowly become aware of Talmadge and was waiting for the opportunity to pounce on the Wild Man from Sugar Creek. I think one reason for this was Talmadge’s isolationist stance regarding World War Two. Talmadge feared that FDR was preparing to throw the US into another vain war that would bring ruin. Talmadge remembered that after World War One, the South had gained nothing and that only the North benefited from the war.
He remembered how the arrogant Yankees had castigated the South in the years following The Great War. The only thing stopping the busy bodies in the North from launching a campaign to purge the South of the color line was the Great Depression, to which they were in too much financial trouble to harass the South. Furthermore, Gene admired the leadership of Mussolini and Hitler, he saw no reason to go intervene in the war in Europe for the sake of “muh democracy.” Talmadge himself had bragged about reading Mein Kampf seven times and openly admired Mussolini’s tactics in getting people to work.
He also had made many positive remarks on Imperial Japan in his newspaper The Statesmen (inspired by Tom Watson’s successful paper, The Jeffersonian, which he used to exposed the Jewish predator Leo Frank). This would get Talmadge noticed in Japan and they would send one of his editors an invitation to “witness the real life and scenic beauties of Japan so that you may represent them to the American people through your newspaper.” Talmadge wasn’t one to fall for the ((liberal)) propaganda machine that was brewing up an anti-Axis (mainly German) storm in the North. So, when Talmadge ran in 1940, many liberals were already running their mouths talking about how he was a buffoon and would never sit in the Gold Dome again.
Talmadge, in the months before 1940, had been building up a massive grass roots movement made up of his old allies and ruralite supporters. One tale worth mentioning was how Gene managed to net the urbanites vote in Atlanta, despite never doing so before. Talmadge would round up the top prostitutes of Atlanta and convince them to get their urbanite “patrons” to vote for him (knowing the urbanite leaders would be forced to oblige or else be exposed). Talmadge would win the Fulton County vote that year. This was his version of “crushing the urbanite” – it worked.
One of the primary factors that would gain Talmadge victory in 1940 was the war in Europe, the people of Georgia had grown uneasy and fearful. “He was their [the people of Georgia] crutch in a way, only this time, it was the war and needless bankruptcy that demanded an aura of toughness and Gene was the man with the sword.” On June 12th, 1940, the Talmadge campaign officially hit the road, starting in Atlanta where, “Gene was tanned, his hair long, his white shirt starched, and his suspenders blaring red” he would deliver his first public speech in the crusade to retake the governorship of Georgia. He and his son, Herman, knew now the prefect opportunity to make a come back and save Georgia, while the enemy media was too busy focusing on the war in Europe (and how to get America in it).
Herman had been very helpful in putting together the 1940 platform, that while not changing much, would elevate his father to victory in the gubernatorial primary that year. The plank included 6 main points and a “gimmick” plank:
- to maintain public schools and pay teachers;
- to enforce the economy in government;
- to protect the counties;
- to veto a sales tax;
- to encourage the development of natural resources; and
- to cooperate with the federal government as war approached.
The final plank, and the most far sighted one, was “The Family License” – which would save large (and white) families money, thus encouraging them to have big families.
Herman Talmadge would also help win over people from the other camps with his charisma and the political skill learned from his father. The campaign of 1940 also wasn’t lacking in any fights, as multiple brawls would break out during the campaign between Talmadge’s ruralites and his opponents.
On September 11th (election day) it was soon clear that ‘Ole Gene would be the next Governor of Georgia in a massive landslide victory. Talmadge’s supporters went wild with joy, his followers would again strap on the red suspenders for Talmadge’s return. Talmadge was a man on a roll in Georgia and had big plans and even sent his son Herman to “bury the hatchet” with FDR in D.C. Little did Talmadge realize that he was about to be tried like never before as governor and as a Southern White man. Talmadge was about to become enemy number 1 and the hated enemy of the press in all of Dixieland.
Nowadays, even your most basic conservative realizes that academia has gone to hell in modern times. Many though, fail to realize just how this happened in the first place and just how bad it’s been over the previous decades. The takeover of the universities by “leftists” has been taking place for years, even before the 2nd Reconstruction (also known as “The Civil Rights Movement”). In all areas, the “Right” has utterly failed to stop this Marxist take over and now with Trump, just ignore the chaos taking place on American universities. In 1941, Talmadge realized this though and he wasn’t about to let any of communists infiltrate the colleges under his watch.
The University of Georgia (in Athens) is where it would all go down after Talmadge had just became governor again. In 1937, UGA had hired a Yankee by the name of Walter Cocking, who was made Dean of the College of Education. Mr. Cocking was a liberal of his time, although many would not consider him that today. Mr. Cocking had wanted blacks to be able to use the segregated UGA facilities (though not at the same time as whites), this might not seem that radical, but one must remember this was the early 1940’s and had Cocking’s pushed too hard, the backlash could have costed him his life. Something that should also be pointed out is who was backing Cocking, which was the Rosenwald Fund. The Rosenwald fund was created by a rich northerner, (((Julius Rosenwald))), who wanted to bring change to the “backwardness of southern schools.” Of course.
This all would set off alarms for Governor Talmadge, who realized what was at stake if he didn’t nip this conspiracy in the bud before it got off the ground (after all he had read Mein Kampf several times). Cocking was also alleged to be having an affair with his black cook and that he kept hinting for pushing integration in private conversations. Talmadge, after hearing all this, was ready to strike. In May 1942, Talmadge being part of the Board of Regents (since he was governor) would meet with the fellow board members, it was here he would bring up Mr. Cocking. Talmadge would go on to say he would remove “any person in the university system advocating communism or racial equality,” including Mr. Cocking. Both the motions that Talmadge put forward would pass. This would cause another meeting on June 16th, where Talmadge would bring in a witness against Cocking, but none the less, Cocking was reinstated by the rest of the Board members.
This infuriated Talmadge who wrote in The Statesmen, “I’m not going to put up with social equality. We don’t need no niggers and white people taught together.” Talmadge was dead serious on this issue and for good reason. Talmadge foresaw what would happen if integration was enacted, he fully understood that the repercussions went far beyond just schooling. Talmadge was well read and knew that by giving the enemy an inch, they’d take a mile.
Talmadge also would go after Dr. Marvin Pittman, who was president of Georgia’s Teachers College at Statesboro. Pittman was also another well-known so called “progressive educator.” On July 14th, Talmadge would call on Pitman and Cocking to attend a hearing against them in the General Assembly chambers. Here, Talmadge would expose the two as the leftist radicals they were. Talmadge had discovered Rosenwald’s funding connections to Cocking and called it “Jew money for niggers.” The room was packed with people and Talmadge sat smoking a huge cigar with a menacing look on his face. Then, Jim Peters (one of Talmadge’s supporters) showed the room a book called Brown America written by the Rosenwald’s political chief, Edwin Embree, that had been discovered in the Statesboro library. Peters revealed the book had plans to “pull the white man down and draw the races together. They want them to use the same schools, ride the same trains. It means they want intermarriage, that’s what it means!” to which Talmadge yelled “They won’t do it,” the gallery erupted with laughter and applause.
Talmadge managed to gain full power of the courtroom and expose the devious plots by the cultural Marxist teachers. The arrogant Cocking himself soon stood up and denied the charges and said, “That such tactics could be employed in any country on earth is hard to believe, that they are employed in Georgia has all the earmarks of a terrific nightmare” to which the gallery itself rose up in righteous southern backlash and yelled back “Yankee Teacher!” Imagine if this were to happen today? All the anti-white professors who infest our once great universities with Marxist lies finally brought before the southern people to account for their bold attacks on us. Talmadge did just that.
Talmadge wasn’t wrong. Talmadge was also working behind the scenes to get rid of the Board Members who had voted against him, including the Constitution’s (one of the biggest newspapers in Georgia) editor, Clark Howell. Talmadge wasn’t one to bicker without action and personally demanded Howell resign from the Board, which he did. You could say he bent the knee.
Talmadge at this point faced a major choice in his career, one highlighted with a conversation he had among his advisers and friends. All of Talmadge’s advisers and friends warned Talmadge that he should just let this go and not force the pro-Cocking members to resign. Indeed, these Board members were powerful men with deep pockets and influence. A friend by the name of Jim Peters told Talmadge:
“Let the elections [the elections to keep Cocking made by the Board] stand, Gene. You can go all over Georgia from now to election time, cuss Cocking and Pittman and fan the racial thing and get elected. You have these regents and the university officials backed to the wall. This racial thing will reelect you overwhelmingly, because the people are with you. But if you accept these resignations, Clark Howell and the Constitution will fight you with all their power and influence, and the university will lose its accreditation and the two will result in your defeat” (Anderson, 198)
Talmadge wasn’t going to back down and make some token gesture just to win re-election. No newspaper was going to force him to do anything, no matter how influential. Unlike President Trump who has been goaded by the media into making attacks (expelling the diplomats) on Russia just to show he’s not a Russian puppet, Talmadge was going to stick to his guns like a man and face whatever consequences might arise. Talmadge had courageously exposed the attempts by leftists to take over academia in Georgia and now the hidden figures behind the curtain decided to launch all their power and influence at Gene Talmadge.
Talmadge was a threat to their plans.
To Be Continued…