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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

The sheer amount of stupidity that flows from the mouths of people never ceases to amaze me. Especially when it comes from those in the political arena.

Three examples from the past week or so really stand out to me.

First, our own U.S. Rep. Diane Black. Generally considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor, Congressman Black during a campaign stop said that pornography is a large reason for school shootings. She also added that porn is “available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store.”

Chris Gregory

I wonder where Congressman Black does her shopping, because it’s sure not in any grocery store I’ve ever been to! Besides, if porn is your thing (and I REALLY don’t want to know one way or the other) there’s this wonderful invention called the Internet. I hear you can find all sorts of things out there.

Now, Black added that deterioration of the family and violent TV, movies, etc., also contributed to the rise in school shootings. There, she probably has a good point and I would find it hard to argue that. But those potentially valid points are now overshadowed because of one really stupid remark.

Then there’s Roseanne Barr. If you’ve been under a rock for the last week, here’s the gist: The comedienne/actress posted on Twitter an extremely racially charged comment about a longtime aide to former President Obama. As a result, ABC canceled the reboot of the TV show bearing her name.

I personally find it a bit funny that many of those defending her under the guise of free speech are the same ones condemning the NFL players who chose last season to kneel during the national anthem. “You have free speech, but you’re not free from the consequences of that speech,” was the gist of the argument from those who chose to boycott the NFL at the time. And that’s true.

Hmmm? Isn’t Roseanne now dealing with the consequences of her statement?

When I was a kid, I heard my dad say on more than a few occasions that, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Seems to me that’s exactly the case here.

Finally, I submit an item from my recent interview with Congressman Marsha Blackburn, who is seeking election to the U.S. Senate.

I enjoyed the interview and found her a passionate supporter of the views she espouses. But one thing toward the end she said stuck with me, although I opted not to call her out on it. It wasn’t the time or place, but since this is an opinion piece, here goes.

She praised Tri-County’s efforts to expand broadband service in Trousdale County (which I absolutely agree with) but also claimed credit for helping push the process along at the federal level.

That is where my issue lies. The Broadband Accessibility Act passes by the state legislature in 2017, which allowed electric cooperatives to offer Internet service, was a STATE law. No congressman, Republican or Democrat, had anything to do with getting that law passed.

Also, Blackburn has fought AGAINST the expansion of municipal broadband during her time in Congress. In 2014, she sponsored legislation in the House to prevent private companies like AT&T or Comcast from having to compete with community-owned utilities, such as Tri-County or Chattanooga’s EPB.

Look, we’re all guilty of saying stupid things at times. I have certainly done my share over the years and I don’t mind admitting it. But those who opt to reside in the public eye, and most especially those looking to serve in capacities of leadership, owe it to the people to think before they act. Really, we all owe that to our fellow man.

Chris Gregory is managing editor of The Hartsville Vidette. Reach him at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.