By the summer of 1942, Talmadge was in his most heated political race in his life so far. White Georgia was under attack like never before since the hanging of Child predator (((Leo Frank))) in 1915. The hostile controlled press had locked its sights on Georgia once again. Talmadge had just exposed a cultural Marxist infiltration of the Georgia universities. Governor Gene Talmadge was up for reelection in 1942 and he desperately wanted to be elected. For one the term for governor had been extended for four years instead of two which would make Gene Governor up to 1946 if he won.
Cocking Affair Backlash
After Gene had successfully ridded the University of Georgia of the Yankee Cocking he had offended many people but also still had strong backing from his “Wool Hat Boys” who made up his always 100,000 strong base. Many people urged Talmadge to reinstate Cocking to which Talmadge wrote
“Dr. Cocking favored the teaching of white and negro children in the same classrooms. I am opposed to social equality and so long as I am governor of Georgia, no such teaching will be permitted in our school system. Dr.Cocking, as you know , was reared in Iowa where white and colored are taught in the same classrooms . His conduct since being in Georgia is proof of the fact he retains the vies and ideas gained by him in the State of Iowa. I am not in favor of such forging ideas … being taught in our universities system” (Anderson 200).
Up to this point the northern press had mostly stayed out of this fight. That would change when The Southern Accrediting Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (I’ll refer to them as SAC) decided to publicly investigate Talmadge role on education. This sent the parents of Georgia students in a hysteria worried the colleges would lose accreditation sending in letters and calls to the capitol. Talmadge was struck with rage with the outside interference and responded, “We credit our own schools down here”. Talmadge took to the radio to defend Georgia sovereignty and would be quoted as saying “The good negroes … don’t want any co mixing of the races”. All this would lead to a feud between Attorney General Ellis Arnall and Eugene Talmadge. Arnall believed Gene’s actions on the Cocking case were somehow unlawful. Talmadge knew Arnall thought this and challenged him on it. Arnall was an ambitious man who wanted to be Governor in his own words “I always wanted to be governor, but to do this, I had to have an issue and seize it. The Talmadge dynasty had been built on segregation and he was trying to make that the issue in 1941 when academic freedom was the real issue” (Anderson 201). On Dec 6th, 1941 Arnell announced that he would be running against Talmadge in 1942.
Arnell would be the leader of the fraction of native short sited Georgians who thought the issue was academic freedom over segregation. Many of these Arnallites would in modern times be considered “Racists”, for even they didn’t actually want mixing of the races. By September the SAC committee suspended 10 Georgia schools for “political interference” ignoring the fact the professors brought in that and that Georgia had the right to do as we please. When the Board of Regents met after this Talmadge would play like he was sorry about his actions only using this to put down their guard while he thought of ways to stop any actual capitulation. Talmadge wasn’t giving in to any outside pressure. Many of Talmadge’s closes friends and family warned him this would hurt his chances of reelection, yet Talmadge was ready to fight it out. As the summer of 1942 approached Talmadge became more and more determined to stand his ground, win or lose.
“Gene refused to budge…. The issue was whether Georgians wanted their whole society altered by social acceptance of the negro. Gene felt the implications and the threat were of far greater magnitude than even the New Deal had been, though he [rightfully] saw them both as a common conspiracy by “outsiders” to take over the lives of Georgians” (Anderson 203)
Talmadge had a heart felt belief in the Georgian people that they would see through the media lies and stand strong. Genes ruralite “Wool Hat Boys” stood firm behind him ready to defend the Georgia way of life. On December 4th 1941 SAC took away accreditation from 10 of Georgia’s white state supported schools thus angering the liberal education zealots throughout the state and the (((news press)) around the country. Your typical haughty media look on Gene can be seen by an editorial in the St. Louis Post Dispatch “Here in the heart of Dixie has developed a prize specimen of full blown American fascism …. The dictatorship is just as effective and just as vicious as the …[Huey] Long Dictatorship” (Anderson 204). Take a second to take that in. Let me just break this sly comment down for you and what It means. Remember this was written while brave many young Georgians were being forced overseas, to fight in war that wasn’t even ours, against actual fascists. Genes only son, Herman, was among those fighting in the Pacific in the navy at the time. These newspapers had the arrogance to rebuke Georgia for wanting to keep our own institutions unmolested from the hands egalitarian yankee/jewish influence. Even in 1940s the press was controlled by subversive aliens something the good-ole-boy American Nationalists should keep in mind.
In the 1942 primary election for Governor, for the average Georgians it was over either academic freedom or for segregation. Gene was the old fashion ruralite candidate while Ellis Arnall was the “progressive” “academic freedom” candidate. This is where you start to see the emergence of the education zealots (as I will call them) in the south. The idea that education is a cornerstone of society is a Yankee principle not a Southern one. The South has always valued tradition, duty, honor and military over the education. That’s not too say that education isn’t helpful or needed but to say that the South values more traditional means of education such as home schooling. Of course, agricultural farming played a part in the lack of value of higher education as well in the south. The education zealots value education above all else. These pompous people will sacrifice anything for “little Johnny” to go to some big university to get a big fancy diploma. Nowadays its these milk toast parents that send their kids to college, only for them to come back home with a useless degree and now a radical self-hating leftist. They are the same group of imbeciles that think throwing more money at public education is going to fix the decline in performance of students. Back then this mindset had only started to take hold in the South and would be tested in this race.
The 1942 race would also mark the first time in Georgia history students would get heavily involved in politics. Just like now they fell hook line and sinker for the press narrative and would harass Talmadge throughout the campaign. The University of Georgia students would repeatedly mock Talmadge as an old fool. Most of these students were the lowest of the low as far as moral character and fortitude at the time. All the poor farm boys were out fighting in the war while these urbanite punks were at home whining about how “mean” Gene Talmadge was. To make it worse you had the newspapers attacking Gene on a regular basis. Hollywood and the elite of the time would take shots at Talmadge in the North in their extravagant theaters. The Jews had a special hatred for Georgia and Talmadge, Gene had caught them with their deviant hands in the cookie jar so to say. Gene had pulled the curtain down on their backdoors scheme to undermine the youth right when they were running up their press machines against Hitler in Germany. The Jews also have had beef with the Empire State ever since the Georgia people had brought justice to their beloved lecherous (((Leo Frank))) almost three decades prior. The North too also loved to bash Georgia and gleefully bragged about how they burned Atlanta while shunning us for being to mean to the blacks. Indeed, an insidious coalition was brought together in 1942 to bring down The Sage of Sugar Creek.
Birth of the “Southern” Scalawag Urbanite Liberal
Something worth noting from as passage in the book (ignore the leftist overtones)
“the election would introduce into the vernacular the phrase, ‘’ the better element ‘’ – meaning those voting for the progressive candidates and legislation, generally people with higher incomes, better education. The term’s usage substantiates an emerging conscience, an acquiesce to the compromising demands of urbanization, and the growing intelligence of the Georgia body politic. It provides evidence that 1940 was miles ahead of 1930, that without the encumbrances of cotton culture, the southern mind was susceptible to change. Not a lot of change, but change. Gene would not be known as “the better element’s” man. (Anderson 206)
This was the birth of the small urbanite block in the South. The political forefathers of the sort of people who didn’t vote for Roy Moore last year for the Senate because “muh conscience” and thinking he was too folksy. These are your selfish well to do snobs who are usually ashamed of their Southern roots and like to think of themselves as the elite. Now they’ve been melded with Yankee transplants and continued to throw a monkey wrench into the nationalist agenda nationwide. Just like they did in the 1960s when they broke ranks with their fellow southerners on the segregation issue. The 1942 election foreshadowed the scalawags that refused to stand on segregation because little Johnny might miss school for a couple of weeks. Wonder if it was worth it to those people now that those schools are ghettoized slums full of race mixing and moral debauchery, but hey at least you get some education about how your ancestors are evil racist.
Talmadge VS Arnall
While Ellis Arnall traveled Georgia, he would give your classical liberal arguments like saying Gene was Georgia’s Hitler and was causing disunity. Arnall would cry that Gene was corrupt and that the office of Governorship should be unable to intervene with the schools. Talmadge started his campaign opener in Moultrie, Georgia on the 4th of July 1942. The day was overcast. Talmadge and his driver had headed down to Moultrie earlier to prepare but Talmadge needed to use the restroom on the way. Gene insisted on using local outhouses to appeal to local ruralites, Talmadge then returned to the car rubbing the seat of his pants with a painful look on his face to which the driver asked what was wrong. Gene replied, “A Goddamn Black Widow spider bit me on the ass!”. Gene wasn’t joking and soon needed medical attention from a doctor who advised that he call off the speech. Talmadge refused and what is perhaps one of his greatest show of personal stamina and determination would start his speech
“His opening speech was to last an hour. Gene began in great pain but was hardly into his talk when heavy clouds exploded in drenching rain that sent the large crowd scattering off in all directions. Gene wouldn’t quit, though only a hand full now stood before him; the rest of those who stayed in their cars, fogging up their windows. The rain pelted genes lonely figure, slightly bent with pain, but he kept talking hard and loud so those in their cars could hear. The water pounded the paper bunting, washing its fragile red, white and blues over the pine planking in the gashes of colors. It drenched genes suit and plastered his hair against his head, but still he went on – wet to the bone, alone and hurting badly from the bite. After twenty-five minutes, he could give no more; he hobbled dejectedly from the platform to the applause of honking car horns. Only one prompter remained with him, and when he asked, “what about the negroes going to our schools, Gene?” Talmadge responded, “Before god, friend, the niggers will never go to a school which is white while I am governor.” He blamed the whole mess on carpet baggers, communists, and the newspapers.” (Anderson 207)
This show of determination shouldn’t be taken as trivial. Talmadge was 58 years old (well past his prime) at the time and wet and suffering from a bite from a poisonous spider. One also must remember this was the time when speakers were espoused to be energized and make powerful and fast hand motions. Talmadge was no exception to this rule. Yet he kept on for over an hour, all this to defend Georgia’s people and society. Gene was undeniably the guardian of Southern traditions and honor. He was now in a battle with the enemies of the white South and White race as a whole.
Talmadge was under constant attack by the establishment and national press in 1942. He was facing a barrage of venomous attacks from the hostile press owners. When Tallmadge entered Statesboro (the college where one of the fired educators was in charge of) on July 29th he was greeted by hostile students screaming “To Hell with Talmadge” to which Talmadge’s driver launched a tear gas can at the irritating young punks. This would allow Arnall the chance to accuse Talmadge of being a “bully” and spreading the false narrative that Gene was going around the state with “bunch of strong armed rats” and beating up school kids. The narrative was further pushed on by the Atlanta Journal which described the incident in Statesboro “Talmadgism by its very nature seems to produce this sort of thing” and ‘bullying, brown beating, dictatorship…its appropriate emblems are a gas bomb and a black jack.” (Anderson 208). The press was up to the same tricks they use today and of course always with the snobbish overtones. Talmadge real weakness was that the media had painted him as a anti education man. Many Georgians mistook this as a battle over whether politicians could interfere with education not realizing it was one to stop the underhanded attempts by leftist to take over education. Arnall and most of his supporters were not by any means cultural Marxist. Arnall himself was as quoted as “why if a negro ever tried to get in a white school in the section where I live, the sun would never set on his head” (Anderson 209). I actually feel some sympathy for Arnall and his supporters, they were short sighted pawns in a bigger plot to bring down Georgia. We should take note that these men lacked the resources, like the internet, that might have awakened their minds to the insidious plot that Gene saw. Nonetheless the stack was set against ol’ Gene. On election night of the primary the results of the election had come in. Talmadge had been beaten. In the morning after the primary election Talmadge was found solemn and concerned for the fate of Georgia’s future. Gene worried of the previous decades had come true. In 1942 Georgia we would see the perhaps first ripple in the color line in the South. While most Georgians hadn’t change their mind on the negro question it has been shown that public mind could be manipulated by the press. Most people think our future as a people went downhill in the 1960s. While this is true the movement to undermine and destroy the south and the color line went way back and was a slow process. Talmadge knew it. He foresaw the dangers of the New Deals policy (which lay the foundations for the destruction of states’ rights by growing he federal government) in the 30s and the population shift to urban areas (which displaced people from their native soil). I think Gene was one of the few men to comprehend what menaces were on the orison if the south and Georgia did not listen to his warnings. Talmadge would go on to say of his loss in 1942 that “The tide was against us and it seems we were unable to overcome it’’.