The Sad State of Political Beards

 J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Congress should be ashamed of itself.

No, not for its current approval rating, however low it might have fallen this week – or for the lack of attention paid to the American Education System. But instead, for the dismal state of facial hair the men that walk those hallowed halls have been sporting for the last century, and even more so for celebration surrounding former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s pubescent Wolf Boy look that he debuted at Tuesday’s Speaker of the House vote.

Some reporters on Capitol Hill are even suggesting that this marks the end of Ryan’s possible 2016 presidential bid, because no serious candidate would ever grow a beard.

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Civil War-era leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, James Garfield, and Benjamin Harrison were evaluated as much for the lush depth of their beards as they were the content of their character. Hell, Rutherford Hayes didn’t shave from the moment he stepped on the battlefield in 1861 until the day he died in 1893. These titanic men set an example for the likes of Oregon senator John Mitchell, whose beard was likely responsible for populating half of his home state in the late-1800s. Now only 5-percent of the House has any amount of facial hair at last count, with nothing but patchy beards, unsightly goatees, and mustaches that would only impress John Waters on either side of the aisle, all while America’s best beards are wasted by men who make duck calls on cable TV.

Our last president with facial hair was William Taft, and the effects of that untimely choice have trickled down in a way that only Ronald Reagan (a man who never wore a facial hair, but co-starred with a monkey named Bonzo in multiple films) could appreciate. We need to expect more from our congressmen. If we want to remain the most powerful country in the world, we need beards that put the hipsters of Portland and Brooklyn to shame (as well as a more stable economy, and, again, maybe a focus on American Education… or whatever).

So write your congressman and tell him (or her) to grow a beard starting right now. You’ll be standing up for the America that our forefathers built and that we still deserve, and creating a brighter future for our children. Because robots can’t grow beards.