Did you hear anybody complain? Sure you did. About the weather. About the the lying campaign ads. About the greedy fools running our country and many corporations. But about the time? No, not about that. Nobody has complained about the time.
And yet, once again we are going through this useless switch from daylight savings to standard time, only to reverse the step in a few months. Everybody knows the time switch throws off people’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Everybody knows that daylight savings time long ago lost any utility it might have had as a wartime energy saver in the early and mid-20th century.
Most Americans also know — we’ve been told often enough — that Hawaii and most of Arizona get by perfectly well without switching times twice a year. So why do the rest of us still go through this annoying potentially health-damaging exercise? Because the people in Congress, whom we pay good money to make laws and set national policies, refuse to let us stop.
Yes, I know what you’re going to say: “They neglect far more important issues all the time, so why should we expect them to take care of something as self-evident as this?” Good question. The answer is another question: If we know that as a group, they cannot get the job done, how come that as individuals almost all of them get re-elected every two or six years?How come some of them have been alowed to be in office for decades, contributing to Congress not doing much of anything useful, and not even accomplishing something as elementary as doing away with this ridiculous time change?
Sometimes it seems that the sensible and noble idea of self-government through representative democracy is breaking down everywhere we look. And if you want another sign of that fateful decline, just think of changing your watch tonight and having to do so again next spring. (hh)