It’s right around that time of year again where the biggest popularity contest is underway. The 2016 presidential election is around the corner.
You might have heard something about them, for oh maybe the past two or three years…
What’s seemingly lacking in this election you might ask? Beards. It’s not surprising either when you look through the scores of our baby-faced congressmen. Perhaps this is a factor in their overall approval rating hovering near 10%.
The Trustworthy Beard
It looks like our bearded constituency is out of luck this election cycle. Thanks Obama. But this doesn’t have to be the case forever.
For sometime now it has been the accepted norm for presidential candidates and for that matter, politicians to wear the clean shaven look at all times. Our Presidential elects have long since left the Order of Beards.
Congressmen and future presidents would do well to throw away that razor. Various studies have shown that beards change the perception of men for the better. We’re more likely to appear more trustworthy and seen to have greater knowledge while endorsing something.
Trust me, I have a beard and I said so.
And what better way to endorse democracy than to let our whiskers free? Let’s take a walk down memory lane and check out some of our past bearded U.S. Presidents.
Political Beard Golden Age
The last beard elected to office was President Benjamin Harrison, 123 years ago in 1893. The last president to wear any kind of facial hair was William Howard Taft, who had a mustache during his term from March 1909 to March 1913. This was the end of the era, an era started by none other than Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln was probably the only guy in the history of beards who could pull off a no-mustache beard, and not look like he just emerged from his basement.
It wasn’t until Lincoln that we got our first taste of a true presidential beard. He was famously influenced to grow out his beard by an eleven year old girl.
During his election he received a letter, one passage read, “I have yet got four brothers and part of them will vote for you anyway and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you. You would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.”
Timeless advice. If an eleven year old girl from the 1800s knew that beards win elections and gets women, well as far as I’m concerned — case closed.
Between 1861 and 1913 the majority of all presidents had either full beards or mustaches. Ulysses S. Grant came swinging out of the gate after Andrew Johnson’s clean shaven reign. His beard an even fuller evolution after President Lincoln’s.
Rutherford B. Hayes had the biggest beard of Presidents. Here he is pictured with the squad.
Between James Garfield and Benjamin Harrison we had a flow of mustaches, which was at least something. The streak was only broken once by William McKinley, who was promptly assassinated. The ancient order of Presidential Beards would not stand for such a sleight. Teddy Roosevelt and William H. Taft followed, ending out the Golden Age. Bearded archeologists are still searching for their famed Mustachio Manifesto to this day.
A Historic Revival in Our Hands
Bearded brothers do not fret. One of you who may be reading this can change the future course of history by running for office. If you have political inclinations, by all means do your civic duty by running for office and proudly wear your beard strong.
Beards didn’t take hold in politics until a great man fashioned his identity by wearing one. All it is going to take is one bearded candidate to win a high-profile election. Politicians will follow in droves to match your success. Put down the razor and become the next Lincoln today.