THE WILD MAN FROM SUGAR CREEK PART 3

By the middle of 1934 Eugene Talmadge was back on the campaign trail to get reelected for Governor.  One must remember that back then in Georgia you served two years as governor instead of four however you were free to run twice. Talmadge overwhelmingly won the White primary that year thus giving him two more years as the Georgia Governor. He would be sworn in again in early 1935. During these two years last years of his term he would be at the highlight of his career in the 30’s and would constantly travel around the US on a crusade against the New Deal.

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By the middle of 1934 Eugene Talmadge was back on the campaign trail to get reelected for Governor.  One must remember that back then in Georgia you served two years as governor instead of four however you were free to run twice. Talmadge overwhelmingly won the White primary that year thus giving him two more years as the Georgia Governor. He would be sworn in again in early 1935. During these two years last years of his term he would be at the highlight of his career in the 30’s and would constantly travel around the US on a crusade against the New Deal.

By 1935 Talmadge would buck FDR for his more leftist economic policy and the New Deal programs. While in the previous years Talmadge had offered little criticism of the President , at least in public, he soon began loudly denouncing Roosevelt and his leftist policies. This would cause Talmadge various problems due to the President’s powerful support and influence in the state of Georgia. Talmadge was a ultra-conservative and FDR a ultra-liberal, as far as economics went they were at opposite ends. Both had correct  and valid points in some areas  of their economic belief. However, Talmadge rightfully feared a growing welfare state and its connections to socialism and communism. This conflict will be explored later down the road.

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Mill Strikes of 34’
One major event that would happen in the inter election period of 1934 and 1935 that would hurt Talmadge’s career was the massive textile strikes that broke out that year throughout the South and the Nation as a whole. Talmadge would lose the support of mill workers after sending the National Guard to brutally put down strikers in the Mill cities of Georgia in 1934-35. Governor Talmadge to his credit would also use the state forces to round up and deport New York Strike Breakers sent from the North to put down the Georgia textile strikers. Talmadge considered it a shame to have outsiders solving Georgia’s labor problems so he had his state forces round up the strikebreakers at gun point and had them all deported back to New York. That’s one way to deal with the Yankee. Mainly, Talmadge’s reasons for putting down the strikers had to with their ties with Communist Party, which was more true in Appalachia than Georgia, and stories of bi-racial Unions. Talmadge had also read the dark tales of the Communists around the world who had used strikes as a weapon to sew disorder and anarchy to overthrow the natural order.  Talmadge’s main supporters consisted of poor farmers and sharecroppers over the more city/town dwelling mill workers so Talmadge had less sympathy for these people and their problems.

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The presses in National Socialist Germany & fascist Italy would both praise this as a growing sign of Fascism in America thus further angering the liberal press in America who hated Talmadge with a fury. Many would accuse the Governor of being a tyrant and strong man who unfairly used the Georgia National Guard as his personal Army. Already, he got compared to Hitler and Mussolini. This incident would affect his later political races.

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1935 KING FISH & THE WILD MAN
For most part of 1935 Talmadge with flirt with the idea of running for president in 1936. In fact, he briefly had made an alliance with the King Fish Huey Long, the more leftist (economically) version of Talmadge. The idea was being pushed by a wealthy friend of the two that they should run on the ticket in 1936 to beat FDR. This indeed was a odd yet inspiring alliance considering they were both on different sides of the economic spectrum but they shared the common enemy of FDR and the North. The North at the time still conceitedly looked down it’s nose at the Southland something that Huey and Gene both profoundly understood and rightly resented. Both men were organic Nationalists/populists who believed in fighting for their homefolk and took heat from the hostile ((Northern)) press for doing so. Their alliance was hurt by Long’s arrogance and both of their unwillingness to run as second fiddle to the other. Basically the argument was over  who would be the Vice president on the presidential ticket. Long’s rude alcohol spurred comments made while visiting in Atlanta at a dinner party about Talmadge also didn’t help either. There meeting was one that attracted media attention. Talmadge would simply go on to say about of one their meetings that “We cussed Roosevelt”.

“In February , Gene invited Long to speak about his cotton holiday before the general assembly .Aide-de-camp Henery Spurlin remembers, “ Huey was very security conscious and traveled with bodyguards .Georgia law wouldn’t let them enter the state carrying guns, so Gene had ‘em all sworn in as Fish and Game Wardens and they came armed, Huey was an extremely nervous man. He even paced while he was shaving. He and Gene were friends at first. They were trying to work out some alliance against Roosevelt where one would run as president and the other as vice president. The whole thing was being pushed by a rich man named John H. Kirby (Anderson118).” (The Wild Man from Sugar Creek)

One could just imagined what could have happened had the two decided to work together in a pursuit of a common goal. Perhaps a Southern populist movement against FDR and the Northern liberals?  The two had many commonalities, especially campaigning styles. Both were seen as backwoods dictators by the National Press and especially Northern elitists. Senator Long alone was a massive threat to the system. I think had their alliance been long term the two could have certainly thrown a monkey wrench in the globalist plans, especially their plans to enter the war. Long and Talmadge were both stern isolationists. It was highly likely the two could have whipped a FDR ticket. Keep in mind that Long was at the height of his power and Talmadge at the height of his national popularity. Both men had much to bring to the table had the decided to team up on their hated New York enemy. Sadly, Long would later be gunned down by a Jewish man in Baton Rouge later that year …. Just a coincidence… right?

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Talmadge States Rights Rally

FDR VS Talmadge 1936
By 1936 Talmadge was at his ends rope with FDR and his liberal economics. In January of 1936 he would ready himself in another attempt to stop FDR, In Macon he would rally a lose collection of the slain Huey Longs coalition and formed the His ‘Southern Committee to Uphold the Constitution’. Talmadge wanted to run for president and stomp out FDR’s control over America once and for all. Talmadge wanted to build a Southern vanguard to strike at the threat of liberalism being pushed by FDR . The meeting in Macon, GA among the southern leaders would give him the chance he wanted. Talmadge would crown himself the leader of the South’s backlash to FDR liberalism, and indeed he was. After the crushing death of Long the South had lost its best spoken native opponent to FDR and Talmadge now sought to replace him. Talmadge honestly was not prepared for this swift change for he had presumed that Huey Long would be the man to stop FDR. With such determination by Talmadge to stop FDR One might wonder exactly why Talmadge feared FDR’s influence .

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Governor Talmadge foresaw that the changing economics would cause the North to try to further intervene into Southern affairs. He was worried that that the states reliance on the Federal New Deal programs could jeopardize states’ rights in the future…… And was he wrong? One of the major reasons, besides cowardice, that our states bow their knee before every unlawful Supreme Court decision / other fed court’s rulings is the fear of loss of federal funding. One only needs to remember the Muslim refugees in Tennessee and the corrupt federal replacement program there. I should also add that Tennessee was one of the states that relied most on the New Deal Programs and would later be one of the feebler southern states in the fight against the wicked “civil rights movement”. The New Deal/ FDR was one of the leading factors to the usurpation of states’ rights in the 20th century. So Talmadge would try to do his best to pull the rug on FDR in trying to stop his re nomination as the presidential ticket of the Democratic Party, this of course would ultimately fail in the end . Thus FDR would remain President another four more years and then some and send young Dixie to fight ((their)) enemies for them. Talmadge’s inspiration of running for president when ended when he realized that a Southerner would probably never be allowed to be president. During the Democratic Convention (1936) he would try again to stop FDR from being nominated as the party nominee but of course overridden by the other Democrats. This all out crusade against FDR & liberalism would attract the attention of the hostile (( press)) who now would consider Talmadge a threat to their plans . Just imagine Talmadge as president ……ah, some dreams never come true.

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SENATE RACE 1936
With Talmadge being unable to run as Governor in 1936 (due to term limits) and his term coming to an end he realized he needed a new role to play.  That role being US Senator. Talmadge would be up against one of Georgia’s greatest Senator’s, certainly of the 20th century, Richard B Russell. The Senate race of 1936 can best be seen as a race between two great Georgians/Southerners. Russell was a old time Southern gentlemen and a very popular senator as well as ex-governor of the Empire State (not New York by the way). Gene was more of an outsider and had created numerous enemies by his attacks on FDR and the New Deal. Many poor white Georgians had been hoodwinked by the New Deals not being as educated or knowledgeable and having the foresight of ole Gene. Gene made the mistake of making this race a pick between him and FDR whereas before it was Talmadge and FDR. In the end FDR’s overwhelming popularity would win out .Russell’s team very much saw Gene as a real threat considering what an extraordinary campaigner he was and the power of his personality. The race was probably tame as it goes for Eugene races , Talmadge never really made any personal attacks on Russell . It’s hard to say who really was the underdog in this legendary race for the Senate. Both men had their advantages and disadvantages, but the “ progressive” tide was about to overtake Georgia . With the coat tail rider of FDR, Ed Rivers, taking to succeed Talmadge and with having the king maker Roy Harris behind him the Governorship would be taken by Rivers in 36. Talmadge would meet a defeat at the polls in late 1936 leaving him without a elected to serve in. Many speculated this was the end of the “Wild Man”. However, Talmadge wasn’t even closed to finished though.

Governor Talmadge candids
Talmadge 1936
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Miss Mitt Making Talmadge food 1935 
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Talmadge on inaugural day 1935
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Talmadge calling out FDR in Baltimore 1936
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