Tanner Andrews

The U.S. Senate recently passed the Federal Perpetual Darkness Act of 2022. Of course, it must go through the House, and then be signed, to come into effect. And they have other distractions in Washington right now.

A few years ago, Florida enacted the corresponding Florida Perpetual Darkness Act of 2018 (Ch. 2018-99). The idea was that if a Federal Perpetual Darkness Act ever made it through, we could suffer year-round daylight saving time.

The effect is fairly simple. Every morning, when we wake up, it will be dark. This would be a year-round problem.

There are cynics out there who applaud this. More kids trying to get to school in the dark ultimately means fewer kids to get off our lawns. I do not think the teachers’ unions would agree that this is a good thing.

In Florida, there is possible good to come of it. We could decree that west of the Apalachicola River would ever be on daylight saving time, and the rest of us would stay on standard time. That would effectively put the whole state in a single time zone.

Of course, that would be useful, so our Legislature is very unlikely to do such a thing. They are perpetually busy chumming up red meat for the next election, a somewhat pointless exercise since the entire state government is run by a single party. It is as though Putin worries about swing voters.

And, maybe, Perpetual Darkness is symbolically correct. Keeping the public in the dark helps when you are running a one-party system: An ignorant populace is less likely to throw the rascals out. Who could question a new secret police force, to solve a problem that the governor acknowledges does not exist?

Spending bills will also go a lot more smoothly if Florida moves from being a Sunshine state to a Perpetual Darkness state. If no one sees the cost, Pave Florida 2019 (Ch. 2019-43) proceeds smoothly, picking the pockets of environmentalists and developers alike.

There are a lot of advantages to suppressing sunshine. And while a one-party state works best in the darkness, I know what the Legislature ought to be thinking — if this keeps up, someone is going to notice that it is dark out there.

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.


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