The beard is nearly extinct in American politics, especially when it comes to the presidency, and it doesn’t look like the trend will reverse itself anytime soon.
The United States’ last fully bearded president was Benjamin Harrison, who served from 1889-1893. Our 23rd president capped off a really impressive streak of bearded presidents, starting with Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president. Lincoln was followed by Ulysses S. Grant (18), Rutherford B. Hayes (19), James A. Garfield (20) and Harrison as fellow presidential beardsmiths. Not to be completely outdone, presidents Chester Arthur (21) and Grover Cleveland (22 and 24) sported mustaches in office.
But then it really gets ugly.
While Theodore Roosevelt (26) and William Howard Taft (27) had mustaches, that’s where the line of presidential facial hair officially ended. For more than 100 years now, no American president has had facial hair, and our next leader won’t either. Donald Trump has never had a beard and the suit of human skin the alien that calls itself Ted Cruz wears likely cannot grow facial hair. Hillary Clinton, of course, is a woman, but if growing a beard would get her a few extra votes, I have no doubt she would do it.
So is there any hope on the horizon? It sure doesn’t seem like it. House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared to be the savior of the movement for more beards in politics when he grew one, but he bowed under pressure and shaved it, most likely because it was used against him politically, with some people deriding it as a “Muslim beard.”
Even more concerning is while a politician’s facial hair makes him objectively more masculine, a bunch of dumbass students thought it also made him seem less feminist and less likely to support women’s rights. Bearded politicians have also been mindlessly associated with “hostile sexism.” This is why millennials can’t be trusted to do anything right, and why I fear we would one day elect a president with a man bun.
I don’t know who is working for the anti-beard lobby, but right now they’re doing a hell of a job. Every single politician is scared to grow a beard, afraid they’ll be labeled an anti-feminist monster (which is something their clean-shaven right-wing colleagues often are anyway). But we desperately need beards in politics. We need beards in all parts of our society. All it will take is one brave individual to keep the beard through thick and thin, proving to the increasingly imbecile masses that facial hair, believe it or not, has no effect on a politician’s beliefs or ability to govern.