August 29, 2002

Commuting with Spin

“Are you pro-growth or anti-growth?” I asked the candidate standing outside the entrance to the subway this morning. “We’re pro-people,” she answered. I grimaced and flicked my head in the direction I wanted to be moving. “Well, that isn’t saying very much.” I replied. The rest of my body began following my head’s lead.

Nancy Floreen is running for County Council in Montgomery County, Maryland. According to the brochures and endorsements she handed me, her ideals seem to be in the right place. But doesn’t she know we know spin when we hear it? We’re into people?? This reminded me of the Miss Teen USA pageant I flipped past last night on TV on my way to American Idol.

Button-holing commuters as they enter the Metro is a quick affair. We don’t have time to stop and debate. Perhaps living in DC has jaded me, but I’m a little tired of debates. I’m looking for honest, thoughtful, albeit short responses.

Usually, I sidestep anyone handing out leaflets with my usual “no thanks.” But I couldn’t avoid Ms. Floreen, dressed in my bright yellow rain slicker and no child to suddenly turn to as we passed.

If you’re going to stand at the entrance to our commuter tunnel, please keep in mind the context of the place. Think twice about quick, nonsensical answers. Be prepared. A more appropriate response to my initial question might have been “It’s about targeted smart growth” (thanks to Amy for that one—her business is spin). That doesn’t say it all but at least it’s on the subject.

If we must live in the fast-paced world of spin, the spinmeisters should at least try to make it logical and we, the public, should accept nothing less. Good luck, Ms. Floreen.

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