published Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

David Cook: Greg Vital not slipping, just sighing

Freudian slip: a slip of the tongue that is motivated by and reveals some unconscious aspect of the mind. — Merriam-Webster

A Freudian slip is when we say one thing and mean a mother. — Rob Long, The National Review

Greg Vital slipped. On his own tongue.

Speaking to the Hamilton County Young Republicans on May 31, Vital, running for District 10 in the state Senate Republican primary, opened his comments with the claim he "finished up'' at Southern Adventist University in 1979 with only $900 in student loan debt.

Imagine. Only $900 in student debt. It's almost unbelievable.

So is Vital's claim about graduating from college.

When asked by Times Free Press reporter Chris Carroll to explain why he has suggested -- online, to the media, in public speeches -- that he graduated from college when he actually did not, Vital said he accidentally slipped.

He blamed it on Fraud.

Freud. I mean, Freud.

"That was a Freudian slip," he said. "It was a mistake.''

The father of 20th century psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud peered deep into the human psyche and behavior, and claimed that our unconscious mind often drives our words and actions more than we may realize. When we repress or don't acknowledge some deeper wish or desire, it finds a way to get out.

Like kids out of their bedroom on Christmas morning. Or the "Alien" in that guy's stomach. Or Lindsay Lohan. It's going to reappear until it's dealt with.

My mother -- I mean, my wife -- doesn't trust any politician these days. I don't blame her. Politics has become more about untruth than truth, with candidates more skilled at using distortion and evasion to defeat rather than using compromise, wisdom and cooperation to solve.

Our standards have become so low; our needs so high. Since his slip, Vital has apologized (a refreshing thing for politics) but has not dropped out -- which is telling.

Shouldn't we have demanded it?

Without realizing it, Vital and his Freudian slip ask us to confront the great question used in psychoanalysis: What are we thinking?

The primaries are on Aug. 2, only 11 days away. Then, a small percentage of us (24 percent in the August 2010 primary) will go to the polls, cast a ballot for someone we say we want to represent us.


Consider Scottie Mayfield.

He is running for U.S. Congress and has appeared in one debate. One. And it was labeled "a forum" instead of a debate.

Mayfield is like an agrarian Bruce Wayne -- wealthy yet hidden and disguised. Very few of us know who he is, what he actually thinks or what he does. Yet he may very well come to represent thousands upon thousands of East Tennesseans.

His website offers very little in terms of concrete plans, proposals or policies. Not one word of his 12 "On the Issues'' statements includes any reference to issues directly affecting women. You know, the people in Tennessee who aren't men.

And in seven weeks earlier this spring, he raised a record-breaking $450,000. It doesn't make sense.

Where are the mitchforks and pobs? Pitchforks and mobs? Torches? Far and teather them! From fear and nar! Bowtie them up!

Lincoln and Douglas would debate for hours. Each of them. People came from miles around. Now, I'm afraid we'd just change the channel.

I think Mayfield is a good man, genuinely, and admire his desire to serve. But how do you run for U.S. Congress on an anti-platform platform?

In bold headlines, Democratic candidate for state Senate District 10 Andraé McGary's website says he supports "Wholistic Education."


Why hasn't this been spotted and fixed? Months ago? Not by McGary (although that would have been nice) but by us!

I like McGary and will probably vote for him. But I just expect more. Running for office ought to be rigorous, with little excuse for slips or absences. I get tired of voting and sighing at the same time. So if the candidates won't raise the bar higher, there's only one answer:

That means the task is up to Andy Berke.

Us! I mean, us. It's up to us.

about David Cook...

David Cook is the award-winning city columnist for the Times Free Press, working in the same building where he began his post-college career as a sportswriter for the Chattanooga Free Press. Cook, who graduated from Red Bank High, holds a master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College and an English degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. For 12 years, he was a teacher at the middle, high school and university ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
John_Proctor said...

"Mayfield is like an agrarian Bruce Wayne"

I cannot for the life of me picture a yellow and brown Batmobile or the Caped Crusader wearing a bowtie.

July 22, 2012 at 12:27 a.m.
annisisbell said...

Sigmund Freud has been thoroughly discredited in the field of psychoanalysis. He was wrong about so much.

Furthermore Freud was a rabid Zionist whose views were clouded by his hatred of Christians, he was race aware to say the least, had malice and distrust of Anglo Saxon people and was motivated exclusively as a jew in what today would be labeled as jew supremacist. He had historical grudges against Anglo Saxon people.

Psychiatry was a part of the jewish intellectual movements contrived to destroy Christianity and western civilization that also included the Frankfurt School and Franz Boas anthropology.

Before Freud and Jung, whom Freud hated and mistrusted and disagreed with, got off the boat in view of the Statue of Liberty, Freud asked, "do you think they know we're bringing them the Plague" of his views about sexuality. Today we see the result of his views in gay marriage.

This is clearly a liberal hit piece that doesn't cast any light upon the campaign or the issues we are confronted with locally or as a nation.

July 22, 2012 at 8:28 a.m.
rosebud said...

Mr. Cook, while you are correct about the emptiness and dishonesty of Greg Vital's campaign, if you actually have something of substance to say, spit it out. You need to get over this case of the "cutes" and start making points, instead of attempting to be clever.

July 22, 2012 at 9:15 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Well Stated Rosebud. The fact he supports McGary indicates to me he is not that he is missing information.

July 22, 2012 at 11:37 a.m.
John_Proctor said...

Mr. Cook, unfortunately, some of your readers are so humor impaired and bitterly partisan as to lack a sense of incongruity or irony. Points made with humor are much more interesting than those made with name calling and personal vitriol. Sadly, the latter is what usually passes for political discourse on these boards but they are the price we pay for our 1st Amendment freedoms.

Noli nothis permittere te terere!

July 22, 2012 at 2:38 p.m.
KimG said...

Todd Gardenhire just became the fourth husband of Sylvia Gowen Smotherman Pollard Gilbert Gardenhire.

July 22, 2012 at 4:16 p.m.
chrisbrooks said...

Here's another one to add to the list:

Weston Wamp's website, under the "Issues" section, proudly proclaims that he wants to "rebuild the military-industrial-complex." Ya know, that concentration of power and privilege that Republican President Eisenhower warned could destroy the soul of our country. That thing that we spend over a trillion dollars a year on, more than all the other countries in the world combined. That thing that sucks money and resources away from schools, higher education, housing, medicine, transportation and environmentally sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. That's the thing that Weston Wamp wants to "rebuild".

July 22, 2012 at 11:09 p.m.
chrisbrooks said...

By the by, Oak Ridge is in the Third Congressional District:

July 22, 2012 at 11:10 p.m.

Mr Brooks, You do realize the one thing you mentioned that "sucks money and resources" is actually an authorized expenditure in the constitution while the rest are not. While some programs that support transportation are worthy, the rest are the real sources of the sucking sound you should be afraid of. The welfare state is destroying our country and cultrue. We need to cut them waaaay way back. That will put more money back into my pocket and the pockets of other tax paying Americans across the country. The welfare state must go if we are going to pay down the debt and rescue our country from the destructive government we have now.

July 24, 2012 at 11:56 a.m.
LarryRose said...

Vital has a habit making these "Freudian slips".

Like he did at Greenbriar Cove.

Before Mr. Vital picked up the property (for a song), it was an important way station for migratory birds. The habitat was characterized by an abundance of wetlands vegetation. (pictures at

But then billionaire developer Vital moved in to do “an excellent job” of grading and filling this nature area.

Which is legal. If you get the required permit. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 69-3-108)

These are administered by the Department of Environment & Conservation, Division of Water Pollution Control located at:

6th Floor, L & C Annex 401 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37243

“Activities such as stream channel modifications, wetland alterations or gravel dredging are regulated by this Division. ” ( Activities like sending in bulldozers to push dirt into wetlands.

We’re talking about: “Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP)/Section 401 Certification – Physically altering waters (streams and wetlands) of the state, including water withdrawals that have the potential to signficantly degrade the water quality in the stream.” (

Now you’re probably thinking that the aspiring state senator complied with the law and got his ARAP/ Section 401 Certification prior to starting work.


Well, that isn’t how it worked.

While Mr. Vital claims that “he can bring a fresh business perspective to the Legislature” (Chattanooga developer Greg Vital to run for state Senate, Chattanooga Times Free Press, March 2, 2012), this fresh perspective will result in untold suffering for vulnerable senior citizens. Not to mention the migratory birds who will be losing their habitats.

September 13, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.