Time to stop changing the clocks in Texas
By now, we imagine, you have sprung forward into the light of longer afternoons and dallied in the darkness of morning. No longer do you need that extra cup of coffee just to arrive at work 30 minutes “late.” Spring has sprung, and maybe it took a few days, but you have sprung with it.
But why do we do this to ourselves? There is no compelling reason to spring forward only to fall back only to spring forward again. That’s why we wholeheartedly support legislation from two San Antonio lawmakers, Sen. José Menéndez and Rep. Lyle Larson, to stick with a set time. If Arizona can do this, so can Texas.
Menéndez has said he doesn’t care if Texas commits to daylight saving time or standard time. He just wants the clock moving to stop. We agree.
Daylight saving time has its roots in World War I and the possibility of saving energy (it does not save much). As the Washington Post recently outlined, after the war ended, Congress eventually repealed daylight saving time, but many cities maintained the practice. This led to a hodgepodge of daylight savings dates and times from town to town and state to state. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson made daylight saving time a national thing — except states could opt out. Arizona (except the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii don’t observe daylight saving time. They seem to be mostly OK.
Now, some prefer standard time and some prefer daylight saving time. But if a state had to choose one, clearly daylight saving time is the superior choice. Yes, darkness lingers in the morning, and we appreciate the letters we receive from readers making this point. But the evening light is a blessing. In a highly unscientific survey of San Antonio since our big spring forward, we have observed a plethora of residents lingering in the sun, chatting with one another, gardening, biking, walking. It’s a good vibe worth keeping year-round.
The problem is that while states can opt out of daylight saving time, they cannot opt into it year-round. Why? No one can say. According to the New York Times, this is “for reasons that historians say remain murky.”
Congress could pass a law allowing states to embrace daylight saving time year-round, or even pass a law mandating a permanent move to daylight saving time, with which President Donald Trump is OK. But Congress can’t pass routine budgets, and Texas is a bold state with a history of taking matters into its own hands. We should make like Fleetwood Mac and go our own way. That means opting out of daylight saving time, and in so doing, leading the charge for a national clock-setting revolt. We shall have bright mornings, “earlier” happy hours and shorter bruising summer afternoons. And never again shall our clocks be reset.