The other day, a University of Washington professor said that being on daylight saving time in the middle of winter “would be like Monday morning every day for the rest of your life.”

I nodded when I read that. That’ll never happen, I thought. Daylight saving time in Seattle, which is so glorious on those late summer evenings, surely has got to be a nonstarter in the winters around here. It would still be dark many mornings at 9 a.m. Nobody could want that, could they?

So on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate of course voted unanimously to make it happen.

That’s right – the vote was unanimous. The first time in the history of politics that those squabbling old partisans have agreed in total about anything, and it’s to make it impossible for those of us north of the 45th parallel to get out of bed.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Americans want more sunshine and less depression,” crowed U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, who … I thought grew up around here?

I’m a contrarian, yes it’s true. But am I the only one who thinks our entire political system has lost its collective mind on this daylight saving time jag?


The current setup is perfect for Seattleites. You get those transcendent 10 p.m. summer sunsets. And you also get a morning of sorts in the weak light of winter. The clock switches, falling back in autumn and forward in the spring, seem like a small price to pay for the benefits.

But I don’t think I’ve ever seen the political winds ever switch so completely to be blowing in only one direction.

With the bill passed Tuesday, not only would we switch to one time year-round, but it would be permanent daylight saving — where the clock is pushed an hour ahead of the sun’s standard rise and set times.

If the bill is approved by the U.S. House, we would “spring forward” our clocks in March of 2023 and never change again.

When our state Senate in Olympia voted 46-2 for this same idea in 2019, one senator said he wished the public would offer even half the enthusiasm for the other important work at the state Capitol as they gave to gushing over permanent daylight savings.

I went back and looked, and it turns out one person did show up to the state Senate in 2019 to testify against the idea. So I’m not entirely alone. It happened to be a guy from the Washington State Psychiatric Association.


He basically warned that if we do this, everything that’s warm and fuzzy in the world — happiness, love, health – will start to run cold. While everything bad will be aflame like Satan.

Well, what Seth Dawson actually said, doing his best Eeyore impersonation, was this:

“When the social clock creates a late sunrise in the morning, life expectancy rates are lower, cancer mortality rates are higher, and winter depression rates are higher. Also the SAT scores of high school students are lower.”

“I do realize that this bill is going to pass, though,” he closed.

Of course it did. Nearly unanimously.

Dawson said when Russia tried permanent daylight saving time, there was a countrywide rise of what he called “social jet lag.” That‘s the groggy fog you’re stumbling through when you sleep in until 10 on the weekends and then try to haul your ass out of bed early on Monday morning.

It’s going to be just like that, people – every day all winter!


Even Russia, which at this point seems like a medieval country, had the good sense to cancel the mess after just three years.

We shouldn’t get rid of springing forward, we should reform it to make it better. The best idea I’ve heard for that: Why do we spring forward at 2 a.m. on a Sunday? Do it at 4 p.m. on a Monday or a Friday, and then I bet I’d have more of you on my side.

I will acknowledge that this is a unique, surprising, even exhilarating moment. After decades of discussing conflict, disagreement and bitter polarization in this space, we have finally found the one issue that has done the inconceivable – it has galvanized America into a glorious unity.

So what can I say: I’m dead set against it.