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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Big hairy deal

Finally, someone with the courage to ask the bold question: "Lincoln had one. So did Uncle Sam. Why don't politicians today grow beards?"

Though the gentlemen who vied for the Republican presidential nomination disagreed on many things, from tax policy to contraception to the feasibility of establishing a colony on the moon, there's one critical issue on which they were firmly in accord: facial hair. This was true of the eventual nominees in the last election, and the one before that, and in every other presidential contest going back to 1916. One hundred years ago, two of the four men running for president were proudly hirsute, as were two of the four vice-presidential candidates. Today, the sitting president can't grow whiskers and his challengers wouldn't dare try. When did the beard lose its political prestige?

One answer offered for the beard's political unpopularity, I kid you not: Commies and Hippies. Anything they wore couldn't be good for the Establishment, right? Personally, I'm glad the politicians are staying bare-faced. They give everything they touch a bad name, and I have enough trouble with my image already.


Thu, 04/19/2012 - 8:44pm

Darwin, Castro, Marx. Not Groucho.