I've switched sides. I've wiped the sleepies from my eyes and awakened to the alarming truth of what the Tea Party has been telling me for the past couple of years. The government is taking over our lives, and it's time to rise up. I've seen the light because of a sudden realization that, yes, Daylight Savings Time is a socialist plot.
This coming weekend, we are all to "spring forward," move our clocks ahead one hour when we go to sleep on Saturday night. When we awake on Sunday our clocks will say 6:00 a.m., or 7:00 a.m., or 9:30 a.m., but actually -- according to God's time -- it will be an hour earlier. This is NOT voluntary. It is the result of a federal law, originally imposed by Congress during the First World War and amended a number of times since, most recently in 2005.
I know most of my new friends in the Tea Party think that the new Affordable Care Act -- oops, I am supposed to call it "Obamacare" -- is a constitutional and policy nightmare. The "individual mandate" requires each of us to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. It requires families to engage in private economic transactions with third parties, and it punishes us for inaction. It requires insurance companies to act as the agent of the government in providing blanket coverage to people who are unprofitable to cover!
By any measure, Daylight Savings Time is worse. We can't opt out at all. If I try, I'd be late to work every day for six months of the year, and I'll surely be fired. DST also punishes me for inaction: sure, some of my clocks will automatically reset, but most will require me to change them. And some of these (like the one on my microwave) are hard to adjust, requiring me to locate an instruction manual. Moreover, DST forces me to act as the government's time control agent when I rouse my children from sleep an hour earlier to get to school. This requirement encroaches into the private sphere of the family protected by the 9th Amendment, the 10th Amendment, and a bunch of other amendments I can't be bothered to cite.
Moreover, the constitutional authority for DST is completely hazy. Congress can't base it on its authority to "fix the Standard of Weights and Measures." According to 18th century dictionaries I hope actually exist, time isn't a "measure" or a "weight." The commerce clause can't be the source of power, either. What about time affects commerce? If we close our eyes to this Congressional aggrandizement, one day we'll wake to Congress trying to regulate child labor or civil rights.
If anything, the Constitution implies that time should be left up to states. Article I says that "the Times ... of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State." Snap!
To bring home how we've been sleepwalking through this government mind-control, imagine if Congress passed a law requiring everyone to awake an hour earlier each morning from March till November. If we don't, we will lose our jobs, our kids will be marked tardy, and we'll miss the first hour of Fox and Friends. Wouldn't such a law make mockery of our right to make choices for ourselves? Are we not men? (As a man, I speak for everyone in my family, naturally.)
I'm wide-eyed enough to realize that back in the day, Benjamin Franklin proposed that cannons be fired off to rouse the population at sunrise during the summer, to take advantage of the longer daylight. The cannon idea was a flop, but the idea of adjusting waking time did eventually catch on once it dawned on someone to accomplish the same goal merely by moving the clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall. I have it on good authority (Wikipedia) that the person who came up with this socialistic idea was from Europe. New Zealand, in fact.
The fact that a coercive objective is achieved by trickery does not make it less of a problem. Nor is the constitutional problem solved by the fact that a Founder of the stature of Ben Franklin thought the government should do this. Like most Tea Partiers, I only cite the Framers when they agree with my current point of view.
Let's take our country back this weekend! Sleep late on Sunday. It'll be our little tea party protest against the socialist, unconstitutional trick of screwing with time. And if anyone asks why you're running late, just ask them why they hate America.
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