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Category: Mike Scruggs' Column

An Instructive Historical Review of Georgia Politics

Stone Mountain Georgia, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson
Stone Mountain Georgia, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson

In 1944, Georgia gave its 12 Electoral College votes to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had won 81.7 percent of Georgia’s vote. Roosevelt had carried Georgia with 91.6 percent against Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover in 1932 and carried the 1936 election with 87.1 percent. Although Roosevelt was liberal in many of his policies, Southern conservatives felt comfortable with him.  He was a far cry from the radical leftist Democrats of 2020. Like other Southern States, Georgia was conservative socially and favored a blend of economic populism and traditional economic conservatism. Georgia was a Confederate State and had suffered greatly during the Civil War in 1861-1865 and even more during Reconstruction 1865-1877.

However, Roosevelt’s economic and judicial policies began to wear thin with many conservative Democrats in the South. My grandfather, W.C. Bradsher, was a Democrat Party Chairman in Greene County Arkansas and had campaigned hard for Roosevelt. He was prominent in the business community, and Roosevelt had appointed him to a key flood relief leadership post. My grandfather, however, was an economic conservative and a strict constitutionalist. He began to tell my grandmother that Roosevelt was doing things that would be bad for business. He died in 1937 working on the flood relief project. My grandmother was also a conservative, and she outlived him by more than 40 years, but she would never vote Republican. I never understood this until I learned more about the War and especially the Reconstruction era.  

My family is originally from Paragould, Arkansas.  We lived in Paragould and then Memphis, Tennessee, before moving to Georgia in 1953, where I later graduated from College Park High School, near the Atlanta Airport, and then the University of Georgia, from whence I was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force and lived many places. Aside from my Vietnam War service, I have lived in eleven different states, of which eight are in the South. My direct great grandfather was wounded while serving in Morgan’s 2nd Kentucky Confederate Cavalry and survived nearly two years as a POW in the infamous Camp Douglas near Chicago. Another great grandfather died from winter exposure serving in an Arkansas Rifle regiment. A third great grandfather saw his father murdered by “bushwhackers” in front of their Arkansas home a few days after the end of the war. 

In 1948, Georgia voted 61 percent for Harry Truman, but Strom Thurmond, running as a Dixiecrat got 21 percent of the vote, leaving only 18 percent for Republican Tom Dewey. My fourth grade class in Memphis held a mock election that year, and I voted for Truman on the issues 9-year-olds thought were important.  It was not until Eisenhower came on the scene in 1952 that Southerners began to see that the Republican Party was becoming more compatible with their own conservatism. I remember my parents took me to a huge Eisenhower rally at a bluff near Memphis.  Previous to that, Republicans were strongly associated with tariffs and other economic policies that ruined the South for the benefit of Northern industrial interests.

In 1952, however, Georgia gave Democrat Adlai Stevenson nearly 70 percent of the vote. They gave him over 66 percent in 1956. In 1960, Georgia voted over 62 percent for John F. Kennedy, who now seems very far from the Democrat radicalism of 2020.

In 1964, Georgia joined just a handful of Southern states and voted Republican by giving Barry Goldwater 54 percent, which was really the beginning of the conservative revolution in the South and elsewhere. I voted for Goldwater, but I knew he was a long shot when fewer than 60 percent of the USAF officers in my Navigation Class voted for him in a secret poll. I thought rightly that if he could not carry 70 to 75 percent of Air Force Officers, it was going to be tough nationally. I remember vividly Lyndon Johnson’s shameful nuclear holocaust ads. I voted for Goldwater, and to my surprise, found that every one of my close friends in high school also voted for Goldwater. 

In 1968, George Wallace running on the American Independent ticket carried Georgia with 42 percent of the vote. Republican Richard Nixon got 30 percent, and Democrat Hubert Humphrey got only 28 percent. The conservative total of Wallace plus Nixon was 72 percent, which probably helped to prompt Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” of 1972, when Nixon carried Georgia with a whopping 75 percent. I voted for Nixon but found most of my high school and college friends back in Georgia voted for Wallace on States-Rights and school bussing issues and their offense at national media demonization of Southern culture.    

In 1976, however, Georgia voted for its own Georgia Democrat, Jimmy Carter, who got 67 percent of Georgia’s vote.  Carter had been a U.S. Navy officer and had been elected Governor running on relatively conservative policies. His prominent reputation as a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher also helped.  In 1980, Carter was able to hold on to Georgia with 56 percent of the vote, although nationally, most people now realized he had become considerably more liberal than expected.  Carter lost nationally to Ronald Reagan and did not get a majority of the white vote in Georgia. In 1984, Reagan carried Georgia with over 60 percent against Democrat Walter Mondale.

In 1988, Georgia voted 60 percent for George H.W. Bush (Bush I) against Massachusetts liberal Democrat Michael Dukakis. In 1992, Arkansas Democrat Bill Clinton won Georgia with only 43.5 percent of the vote. Bush I got 42.9 percent, and the spoiler was independent conservative Ross Perot with 13.3 percent. The total conservative vote of Bush I and Perot totaled 56.2 percent. In 1996, Republican Bob Dole managed to win Georgia with 47 percent of the vote. Ross Perot with just over 6 percent brought the conservative total to 53 percent.

In 2000, George W. Bush (Bush II)   carried Georgia with 55 percent and managed to increase it in 58 percent in 2005. Bush II, however, began to go liberal on immigration policy, and this set the U.S. and Georgia on an increasingly Democrat vulnerable course. The changing demographics of Georgia is moving Georgia to the left, although a strong conservative base remains.

In 2008,  John McCain, who was strongly out of favor with conservatives because of immigration policies, still managed to take Georgia with 52 percent against Barack Obama. Mitt Romney improved slightly on this with 53 percent in 2012.

In 2016, Donald Trump won Georgia with only 50.4 percent, which was 5.1 percent more than Hilary Clinton’s 45.3 percent. Libertarian and Independent votes amounted to more than 4 percent.

The extremely controversial and obviously fraud- ridden vote of 2020 thus far, without any future correction for fraud, shows Biden ahead of Trump by 49.47 percent to 49.24 percent, a margin of about 21,000 votes. A Libertarian candidate got over 62,000 votes, approximately 1.2 percent. A recent expert computer analysis indicates that 17,650 votes in Georgia were switched from Trump to Biden. That alone amounts to a 35,300-vote spread, putting Trump ahead. The Amistead Project estimates that illegal votes numbered over 200,000 in Georgia. This is considered a conservative estimate both by Sidney Powell and the Trump investigation team under Rudy Giuliani.

According to Trump Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows, over 100 Republicans in the U.S. House will contest fraudulent delegations when Congress meets January 6.  At least 13 in the Senate plan on protesting the Electoral votes of Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin on January 6.  Overturning only three of those states could give the election to Trump. Simple justice would bring a Trump victory, but their most critical resistance is Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been discouraging the constitutional protest.

I desperately hope that the two Georgia Senate run-off elections on January 5 will be won by Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. That will give the Republicans a 52 to 48 majority in the Senate, but it would not prevent most of the damage done by a Biden-Harris regime, which would  really be an Obama-Harris-Clinton-Soros-BigTech-MSM regime..

I fear, however, that GOP establishment resistance to Trump in the Senate is discouraging Republican turnout in the Georgia Senate races. More than 72 percent of Georgia voters favored Trump’s $2,000 Covid relief plan. The Democrats have also taken it up, but McConnell and Senate Whip John Thune (SD) managed to block it, frustrating many people who are in desperate economic straits. As I mentioned, Georgia was a Confederate State. More than 20 percent of the American people are descendants of Confederate veterans. The percentage is probably much higher in Georgia, but let’s say it may be only 25 percent because of all the demographic changes in recent years. It probably does not matter to most of them that only seven Senate Republicans supported Trump’s veto of a Department of Defense bill that calls for renaming Army bases now named for Confederate generals, but I know it matters to a lot of them, and these are people who have been turning out with special enthusiasm for conservative Republicans since 1964.  Georgia Republicans are in no position to throw away loyal votes to appease leftist Democrats.   

My recommendation is for Georgians to make a super-energetic effort to save the country from crooked radical rule and tyranny by voting for Perdue and Loeffler by January 5, and for Trump supporters to insist their Senators support Trump at the Electoral College meeting on January 6.  Those who do not support Trump should be voted out of office in future Republican primaries.

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