Are These Really the Guys We Want Controlling Time?

I’ve never really understood Daylight Savings Time. It’s always just been this weird thing that creeps up on you twice a year where you either get to fall back to sleep for a short morning nap or spring ahead to face your day a little less rested than you were last week. Much like what happened to the more dangerous and vastly more fun old-timey trampolines or why we keep sending guns to Saudi Arabia, it’s just something I’ve never questioned…until recently.

I read an article the other day that said that the Georgia state legislature is considering dropping us, the entire state, out of the Daylight Savings Time club. I’m a Georgian, so this will affect me. Not just me. You, your mother, snow bunnies from Connecticut driving to Boca Raton, people from Alabama, anyone who delivers anything to the state of Georgia, our new Southern Hollywood, when you decide to walk your dog, whether or not your morning commute is in the dark or the light, everyone.

I have so many issues with this nonsense that it’s hard to know where to begin, but my big question is the title of this article. Seriously, “are these the people we want to put in control of time?” TIME. That’s a pretty big thing. At the very least, shouldn’t this be a ballot measure? It feels like something we should all get to weigh in on. No member of the state legislature ran for office on an anti-Daylight Savings Time platform. Yet they think this is something within their purview? What’s next? Outlawing grits? Changing the state language to Esperanto? Mandating that everyone wear propeller caps on Sundays?

It’s a step too far. I’m going to resist the urge to bash either political party specifically here, because honestly, screw them both for having the unmitigated hubris to think they can dictate stuff this important.

I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the governing bodies of the state of Arizona and one or two counties in Southern Indiana (maybe Illinois — one of those “I” states) also at some point did this and, as far as I can tell, all it’s done is create mild confusion among residents, Amazon drivers, postmen, neighboring states and vacationers. (The Grand Canyon gets tourists; Southern Indiana, not so much.) Shouldn’t time be one of those things we can all agree on?

From what I understand, the initial idea for Daylight Savings Time was to give farmers a little extra daylight during their growth months, which makes a little sense. We are still a largely agricultural state. Food needs daylight. It’s probably easier for farmers to tend their crops with the help of sunlight. I get it. BUT, somewhere a few decades ago the thrust of DST (it’s almost mandatory nowadays that everyfreakingthing get its own acronym, and we didn’t get a vote on that one either) became shopping, not farming. Giving people another hour to sunset shop in the waning hours of the day, letting stores make a little more money, maybe preventing a traffic accident or two. OK, this makes a little less sense than it did when it was about farming, but I still get it. People like to buy stuff. Stores need to make money. Blah, blah, blah.

But dropping us out of the DST club now makes no sense whatsoever. If you get it, please tell me why. If it is somehow a good idea, and you make a decent case, I’ll support it…as long as everyone in the state at least gets a chance to vote.

Congressional limits are already a contentious idea: gerrymandering, state and federal law overriding local law about schools, policing and medicine, and Lord knows, election law. Is this really the right moment in American history to give Congress the power over time itself?

Won’t this ego-boost (for the absolute last group of people who need bigger egos) inevitably lead to some state official proposing outlawing gravity or chicken nuggets or the letter “P”?

If you disagree with me, let this outlet know and tell me why. I could be wrong (but I’m not). I could be reacting too strongly here (again, I’m not). I could be just stupid (well, maybe).