It seems Donald Trump has a problem with moustaches. Source close to the president-elect have said that John Bolton’s distinctive facial hair was a strike against him when it came to the appointment of secretary of State. “I can’t think of anyone that’s really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes,” said one anonymous associate, speculating about Bolton’s chances.
As a proud member of the moustached-American community, I must say that this is all really a bit much. Are we prepared to tolerate this kind of bigotry in our president? Would it be acceptable to laugh off hiring discrimination if the issue was, instead of facial hair, race, gender, or sexual orientation?
Critics will respond that the analogy fails because having a moustache is a choice, whereas the aforementioned categories are not, to which I can only say that these unenlightened commentators have obviously never had moustaches themselves. A man’s facial hair is part of his identity, not a mere fashion preference.
Unfortunately, Trump is not alone in his prejudice. A recent study found that politicians with moustaches are consistently rated as less intelligent and less trustworthy by the public, although it must be pointed out that the study polled Canadian students, a demographic with notoriously wrong opinions. Still, it’s obvious Americans feel the same way, as we haven’t elected a president with facial hair since William Howard Taft in 1908.
My friends, how can we claim to be a country that embraces equality of opportunity when unjustified stereotypes are allowed to persist unchallenged? Who among us hasn’t heard the snickering jeers of those who associate moustaches with child molesters, porn stars, dictators, and other ne’er-do-wells? Not only is it offensive, but it’s also entirely inaccurate.
First of all, far from being unintelligent or untrustworthy, research shows that men with moustaches are actually more financially successful than their clean-shaven counterparts. The study found that men with moustaches earned 8.2 percent more than men with beards and 4.3 percent more than the unwhiskered.
Moustachioed gentlemen are also a generous lot, as evidence by the Movember Foundation, a charity that encourages the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of and fund men’s health causes, include the fight against prostate and testicular cancer. To date, they have funded 1,200 men’s health initiatives. In other words, if you’re anti-moustache, you’re pro-cancer, you monsters.
Fortunately, not everyone buys into the demonization of facial hair. A political action committee called Bearded Entrepreneurs for the Advancement of a Responsible Democracy (BeardPAC) has been established to support the political candidates with facial hair.
Moustached Americans are just like you. If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you shave us, do we not weep? Yet for too long, members of the community have remained acceptable targets for discrimination. Trump’s attitude is merely reflective of a larger society-wide problem. But just as we have made significant social progress in the acceptance of other minority groups (like the Irish), so too can we, I hope, come to embrace our hirsute friends and neighbors in time.
This article originally appeared on Conservative Review.