This coming weekend we fall back once again.
I expect all the usual:
- We'll all wake up luxuriating in our extra hour of sleep.
- It will seem odd that it's pitch black earlier than we expect after raking leaves or whatever on Sunday.
- Monday morning will seem pretty easy.
- We'll all come home from work Monday wondering what the hell just happened.
Then we'll all settle in, and try to survive until the sun comes out a bit more starting around the first of March.
But I have to tell you, I'm more depressed than I ever have been about our hopes of getting this done, at least in the near term.
Earlier this year I went to New Mexico to testify on a DST bill there. The bill got killed by one very angry Democrat. I tried to figure out why, and what it really came down to was that this Democrat remembered that Nixon tried to fix DST and that it was a disaster.
In short, based on questionable science, Congress and Nixon agreed to change out of Standard Time in January of 1974.
Let's see. What else was going on for Nixon in January of 1974?
Well, it was just a couple months after he fired a special prosecutor in the "Saturday Night Massacre." It was just after his staff was unable to explain an 18-minute gap in the tapes from the Oval Office.
Indeed, his presidency lasted about as long as the whole DST boondoggle. He was gone that August, and by October Congress changed DST again and the clocks went into Standard Time in October of that year. There was an adjustment made at the request of lobbyists from the candy industry in 2005 so that the fall change will come after Halloween, not before, to sell more candy.
Europe doesn't have as many lobbyists or eat as much candy, so the switch there was last weekend.
With the benefit of history, it's pretty clear that Nixon's sudden interest in saving energy and changing the clocks was a giant distraction.
Now, by the numbers, there are more people now in this country who don't remember that time than people who do.
But even so, I want to learn that lesson.
I'm in this for the long haul. I started this blog more than three years ago. While I've seen sure and steady progress, I also know that things could go wrong, and we'd get stuck with clock changing for the next 40 years.
If everyone in the world associates fixing DST with Donald Trump, we'll be sunk. That could be disastrous.
So, my strategy for now is to stick to my original strategy. That means spreading the word about how dangerous and deadly the clock-changing is, and to work with state legislatures to get them to pass a resolution saying the same thing, and urging a fix.
But honestly I'm not even going to push too hard on that right now because I'm worried the President might have some staff member that thinks this is a good issue to distract the public with.
I was actually sort of worried about even writing this blog, but after the Halloween-eve news of indictments and more, I think the gig is up, and staffers are too busy worrying about not going to prison to try to come up with distractions.
So, that's where I am: Still a firm believer in the cause, but for tactical reasons I'm laying a bit low right now.