Well, with presidential campaigns getting underway, we’re seeing a whole lot of hullabaloo from every which point on the political spectrum, from the most dogmatic religious right to the most socialistic gun-shy left. One thing that evidently both sides, as well as everyone in between, can agree on is that facial hair is an absolute no-no. With more female candidates than ever before, it’s safe to discount their lack of facial hair as nothing more than basic lack of options, so we’ll grant them the benefit of the doubt and excuse their bare chins. The male candidates, however, do not share the same convenient excuse, but seem instead to have all conspired to avoid showing even the smallest, most inoffensively short whisker. Fine, so be it, what difference does it make anyways, you ask?
While it is true that many of the world’s most powerful people, in both public office and in private sector, are without the faintest glimmer of any facial hair at all, this was, once upon a time, not the case. For nearly the first half of our country’s existence, specifically from the presidency of John Quincy Adams to that of William Howard Taft, a span of time that ran nearly one century, one dozen U.S. Presidents proudly and distinguishably wore some adornment of facial hair while in office. Now, let us avoid making the mistake of claiming that any particular moment in American history was any better than any other moment, for that would prove fallacious. We can, I believe, safely agree, however, that the U.S. political system, and especially the Presidential Office, have fallen considerably in both stature and due reverence in our modern political climate.
Can we link the absence of facial hair to this abominable disregard for the democratic system and the authority held by the highest office in the land? I think that any correlation may be tenuous at best, however one begins to sense an uncanny similarity in the presidential-beards-curve and the presidential-esteem-curve. If we are forced to accept one of a group of candidates who are utterly without facial hair, then it should come as no surprise, to either the U.S. populace or those attempting to find their way into office, that America feels wary of putting all of their eggs into the basket of a Presidential candidate who lacks the regal authority that only a generous growth of facial hair can provide. What will come in 2016? Only time and Gallup polls will tell. Unfortunately, though, we simply can’t expect too much from this bare-faced crowd of children.