In the months after the Dixiecrat Convention in July, the Dixiecrats would work to takeover the state elections. The States Rights Party’s main goal was to make sure that Thurmond & Wright were put on the ballot as the official Democratic candidates instead of the treasonous Truman. The States Righters were already having trouble winning over the upper South but there was still a good chance of winning the Deep South. In fact, if they managed to win over just the Deep south, not even counting the more moderate state of Florida, they could stop Truman from getting the 270 electoral votes needed to be crowned president. Winning Texas, Georgia, and even plausibly Arkansas was necessary though.
The key to winning any Southern state was its political machines. Each Southern state had their own various political machines controlled by powerful local bosses. Win these bosses over and you can win whole regions of a state with reasonable certainty. The States’ Rights Party had their men all over the South trying to win over local leaders. In Arkansas, they were trying to convince Governor Ben Laney to follow Strom’s lead. Ben Laney was already the Dixiecrat leader in the state, but he was sorely lacking in the energy that Thurmond had. Laney was a man born and raised a Southern rural conservative. He himself was a business man from his local Ouachita County. He was originally elected in 1944 as governor and again in 1946, as a both racial and economic conservative. It’s important to note he was an outgoing governor as his second term was coming to an end, thus in late 1948 the political structure in Arkansas was changing. The state, like Georgia, was in the middle of a governor election, in which both candidates condemned the bolting Dixiecrats while also condemning Truman’s civil rights platform. Once again, tory moderates were there to ruin the South’s chances of fighting back. I mean, what’s the purpose of being against something when you’re unwilling to take an actual stand against it? In fact, these party Tories are the political forefathers of the South’s modern GOP party leaders. Both are moderate uncreative fence straddlers who take it as honorable to lose as long as you have some imaginary moral high ground to brag about. To make the matters even worse was the fact that Laney kept pin balling back and forth on his support for the bolt.
Laney’s weakness and indecisiveness damaged the Dixiecrat movement in Arkansas. Thurmond himself would visit Arkansas in an effort to try to rile up the Arkansan people before their state convention in late August.
“He [Thurmond] cautioned that the ‘subversive’ civil rights proposals would ‘force mingling of the races on our trains and busses, in our restaurants, in our theater, in our schools, and who knows where in the future.’ Empathizing themes that would dominate his campaign, Thurmond warned that these were ‘evil days.’ …. Under the FEPC provisions, he counselled, ’employers … could be hauled off before a federal a federal inquisition by anyone who failed to get a job or a promotion.’ The fair hiring provisions of an FEPC law would be manipulated by ‘communist’ … [who] he warned would place their agents in every factory and defense industry in America.” (Dixiecrat Revolt, page 154)
Once again, we can see that Thurmond was spot on. Now we’ve seen Blacks invade every outlet of White society and then ruin and bastardize it. Take for instance their countless violent and trivial outburst in the public setting which have led to multiple injuries, public property destructions, and sometimes even death. City buses & transits have become places for Black thugs to find unsuspecting victims to rob and beat; theaters have become places for them and other scum to loiter; schools have become places for them to sell drugs and have massive brawls and create as much disorder as possible while constantly trying to get “the white bitches”.
We can also see that Thurmond’s warnings on the FEPC have proven exact. Corporations and even small business have become terrified that a disgruntled Tyrone or Shanice might file a discrimination claim and cause the forces of the pozzed media to be at the door steps, not to mention the NAACP or even a riot. This has led to countless number of Whites, who are more qualified and deserving of promotions and job employments, to be passed over and laid off. Just recollect the classic Johnny Rebel hit song “Affirmative Action”. Sadly, the Arkansas people and especially leaders failed to heed Thurmond’s call. Thus, they would have to run on the ballot in Arkansas as Third Party which insured that they would lose the Diamond State. We can blame poor and weak leadership of officials fearing political alienation to this defeat.
I’ve previously stated that Strom had little luck getting the nomination as the official Democratic candidate in the Upper South, but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t a threat to Truman in those states. In states like Tennessee and Virginia, where the Republican Party had some pull, Strom might be able to unbalance the Truman ticket, thus causing the state to go Republican. This was partially the reason the Upper South feared bolting the party. Strom was actually counting on this and made five speeches in Virginia in the month of October, many of which attracted large crowds. Many leading political leaders began softening their tone on the Dixiecrats, still the refusing to bolt however. One gallop poll had Strom at 10% of the popular vote in Virginia. In Tennessee likewise, the States Rights Party banked on splitting the popular vote. There they tried using the political boss E. H. Crump to help them, but after a hard-gubernatorial fight in which he lost, his political capital was worn out.
Nonetheless the state’s political college was still undecided, and many political onlookers speculated that Tennessee would vote Republican or even vote for Strom. By late August and September, it seemed the States Righters might win the entire Deep South even including Florida. Florida itself had been changed by migration from the East and Midwest, thus the state was becoming the swing state that it is well known as today. This change in Demographics might actually play to the States Rights Party benefit in an oddly ironic situation. These Northern transplants could very well undermine the state election of the Truman ticket, not by voting for Strom but by voting for Dewey (the Republican candidate). There the Dixiecrats found powerful allies among the business community who had beef with the state’s liberal fraction. The Dixiecrats were able to get the state legislature to pass a bill getting the individuals names of the presidential candidates instead of their party, keep in mind that before hand Florida voters could only pick a Party to elect for President, which would have required Florida Dixiecrats to first get 5% of the vote to even qualify. With the new change it would mean that Truman would not be on the ballot as a Democrat but as an individual, thus placing him on an even playing ground with Strom. The Dixiecrats seemingly had another state in their pocket.
The one state that the Dixiecrats badly needed was Texas. The state had 23 electoral votes, which meant that if they won Texas, assuming the won every other Deep South state, they would almost be assured of Truman’s loss. Their biggest problem though was the cowardly Governor, who I previously mentioned in another article as bending his knee to the Negrophiles of the Democratic Party. Texas was a hot fight and even hotter at the state convention in Forth Worth on September 17th. There the Texan State Righters stormed out carrying the Southern cross and signs for Thurmond after being branded “insurgents” by the weak knee Party loyalist who’d rather grovel before Truman. They would have to run as third party in Texas. The Dixiecrats favored better in the Louisiana & Georgia. The Louisiana Dixiecrats were getting massive gains and support under the leadership of Leander Perez. The Anti Long forces of the Pelican state rallied behind the Dixiecrat ticket and indeed it had many wealthy backers to help out. They even had time to choose the statue of Liberty as their state Party emblem…something which would soon backfire. Even better was that many Louisiana congressmen joined the Dixiecrats.
“U.S. Representative Otto Passman declared that the time had come for all ‘true Southerners to stand up and be counted,’ and he urged Governor long to take the appropriate measures to secure a spot for Thurmond and Wright on the Louisiana. Congressmen James Domengeaux called U.S. Senator Allen Ellender a “sorry spectacle” for his unwillingness to take a public stand for states’ rights. “I supposed Senator Ellender would have dined with Sherman as he marched through Georgia,” Domengeaux.” (The Dixiecrat Revolt page 159).
In Louisiana political candidates would have animals and symbols to represent their party on the ballot, this is probably due to the lack of literacy, but I it would soon occur to the Dixiecrats that the Louisiana voters would be unfamiliar with their statue of liberty symbol and thus vote for the customary rooster (which was the state Democrat symbol). Perez and the other Dixiecrats began work trying to get the rooster on their ballot and they even succeeded in getting Truman’s changed to the donkey. With Leander Perez’s wisdom an political savviness the Dixiecrats were assured victory in the Pelican state.
Georgia was perhaps the most important state to win as many other Southern states would look to her guidance. In Georgia there had been in an ongoing struggle for the governorship since 1946 which had almost led to a mini Georgia civil war. It was called the Three Governors Controversy and had been kicked off by the death of Governor elect Eugene Talmadge in late December of 1946. Now this battle between the liberal progressive forces, led by former Gov. Ellis Arnall (longtime Talmadge enemy) and Lt Gov Melvin Thompson, against the conservative Talmadge faction, would spill onto the national scene. In the summer of 1948 Georgia would have her special governors’ election in which moderate Thompson faced Talmadge’s son Herman. Herman Talmadge would take the victory in the special election in September, but nonetheless wouldn’t become sitting Governor until 1949. To blurry the situation even more was the fact that the Talmadge faction had distanced themselves from the “bolters” in an attempt to stop accusations of party disloyalty. This would anger Thurmond as Herman was a distant cousin of his and party king maker Roy Harris had supposedly claimed to Thurmond that Georgia was in the Dixiecrat bag. To make matters worse was that lame duck Thompson had been doing everything in his power to stop attempts to get party electors to go Dixiecrat. Georgia despite having many Dixiecrat supporters and being pro White Primary would vote Truman. Ultimately a mix of moral cowardice and fence straddling was to blame. It was a indeed a pity that ole’ Gene Talmadge hadn’t lived through his term for he surely would have been a Dixiecrat.
As the Dixiecrat campaign continued the more the Dixiecrats were evolving into something more than a protest movement. The Dixiecrats began doubling down on Southern style optics and rhetoric in something that almost strikes as out right Southern Nationalism.
“Throughout the South, Dixiecrat functions became stated affirmation of privilege, historical pageants at which attendees dressed in the garb of the Old South or resurrected the symbols of the violent period known as Redemption, during which white Democrats overthrew the Reconstruction governments. Young male Dixiecrat supporters dressed as Confederate generals or donned planters’ hats, while In Abbeville, South Carolina, women attending a meeting of the South Carolina Democratic Party’s women’s division dressed in red shirts, reminiscent of the violent campaigns of 1876. One newspaper supported that guest at the meeting included “women who remember the Reconstruction period and the strenuous campaign which ended the rule od the carpet-baggers.” (The Dixiecrat Revolt page 173)
Amazing how strong the Southern identity was back then compared to todays. The Party was evolving into something with actual strong chance to realign the politics of the US. The main goal of Dixiecrat bolters had originally been to gain the Southern wing of the Democratic party the power and prestige it once commanded, yet now it was becoming something more. While Strom held on to the idea it was merely a protest movement that would only last for this election, Mississippi and Alabama Dixiecrats were beginning to see a bigger picture and vision. That vison was that perhaps if they could stop Truman in 1948 they might evolve their revolt into a powerful long lasting Third Party. Since the Blackbelt planters were economically conservative they no longer even saw a reason to remain aligned with quasi-socialist liberals of the Democratic Party. If they kept their protest party together after 1948’s election they imagined they might be able to absorb some of the elements of the Republican Party. Such a plan was actually possible, if they could beat Truman that is. Speaking of Truman, he had at this point had decided to not even campaign in the South, fully showing his lack of respect for his native homeland.
Election day finally arrived on November 2nd, 1948. Strom and his wife Jean voted at the Edgefield Court House and waited out the day in Columbia for the results.
The election results were at first stating, famously, that Dewey had beaten Truman as the press expected. Instead, Truman won. While the Dixiecrats managed to win 4 states, Louisiana, 49.5%; Alabama, 79.8%; Mississippi, 87.2% and South Carolina with 72.0%, they failed to win all the other states. The Republican Candidate Dewey had done a terrible job campaigning and had lost several Northern states, which led to his defeat.
This all sealed the fate of Dixie’s relationship with the Democratic Party. Most Southern leaders had failed to take stern action against Truman and had allowed him to totally disrespect the Southland. Once the National Democratic Party realized that Dixie would follow them out of blind loyalty they realized they no longer needed to give us any concessions. Why would they? If they were basically guaranteed that the South would vote for them no matter what, why not throw us under the bus for minority votes. Keep in mind, like now, the Democrat Party national leadership were power hungry scum. They had no honor. They had no racial pride. The only thing that kept them from disrespecting us before was fear and respect. In 1948, they lost both respect and fear of the South. This would open the flood gates of virtual disenfranchisement and alienation of the White South from the national Democratic Party.
Had the South united behind Strom in 1948 and broke off from the national party, the National Democratic Party would have learned once again to fear us and not take us for granted. If they saw that pandering to Blacks would lose them elections, they would have stopped (at least for a few decades). Even if they didn’t heed the warning, you’d have a legitimate Third Party that could easily bend both parties to their will. Imagine, had the Dixiecrat won the election successfully and decided to truly become a Third Party instead of a protest action. They could have even pushed for secession had things went forward as they did in the 60’s. By being a Third Party the Southern identity would have hardened as we would all realized we don’t need the Northern people’s support. The 1948 election was probably one of the best chances to stop the destruction of this nation through political means. Despite their failure, many Southern Political leaders and people would realize the States Righters had been right, especially after the illegal Brown V Board of Education decision of 1954. Indeed, a great opportunity had been missed, but the fight to preserve the Southern way of life wasn’t over, the 2nd Reconstruction had just begun.