Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is America Ready for Another Bald President?

Americans and the media have always been obsessed with the “haves” and the “have nots,” and this goes without saying when it comes to John Edwards’ hair and his $400 haircut. A recent FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll asked telephone interviewees: Do you happen to know which presidential candidate has been in the news recently for paying $400 for a haircut?”

The only answers proffered by the interviewer were the top three Democratic candidates, followed by two of my favorite responses to all poll questions: “Other” and “Don’t Know;” although my favorite and standard response is “Don’t Care.” The results showed that roughly 46 percent of the respondents did not know about Edwards’ $400 haircut, which, as Greg Sargent pointed out on TPM CafĂ©, is 4 percent less than the number who knew that Saddam did not have WMD when we invaded Iraq. But as FOX News very well knows, we cannot begin muddling viewers' lives with facts. In the television news business, Weapons of Mass Deception are vital in winning the ratings war. Facts are major downers and a literal turn off to the television masses.

Speaking of the “haves and have nots,” the mainstream media’s negligence goes beyond their cursory coverage of the news. John Edwards’ haircut is merely a manifestation of a deeper issue that has long divided Americans along hairlines. Yes, folks, the “Two Americas” I’m talking about are those Americans who have hair and those who don’t have hair. There, I’ve said it. It was just a matter of time before I slicked back the comb-over and revealed the truth. The reason the majority of Americans are obsessed with hair is because we still live in a baldist society. Baldism is the real issue here, not the fact that Edwards paid an unseemly amount of money for a haircut.

Unfortunately, the “Bald is Beautiful” campaign does not extend itself to presidential politics. Pundits have been asking voters: Are Americans ready for a woman president? An African-American president? An Hispanic president? A Mormon president? But when will pundits and pollsters begin asking the real question: Are Americans ready for another bald president?

We haven’t had a bald president in 35 years, not since President Gerald Ford (see photo). But before you Baldists start touting Ford’s candidacy as a means of supplementing your own baldist guilt (“But, but…I’m not a baldist. Some of my good friends are bald.”), keep in mind that Ford was never elected to be president, or vice president for that matter. Ford, a distinctly bald man, had to win the presidency by entering the back doors of the White House. Ford was nominated to take former Vice President Spiro Agnew’s when he resigned, and then Ford fell into the presidency when President Nixon resigned in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

We have to go back 50 years to President Dwight Eisenhower’s re-election to note the last time the American people elected a bald president. Granted, Eisenhower (in case you've never heard of Eisenhower and or don't know what he looks like, see photo above) had to overcome the pervading baldism of the 1950's, but thanks to the positive “I Like Ike” media blitz, Americans were able overcome their inherent baldist bias. Furthermore, Eisenhower, a general and decorated war hero, was elected six years after World War II. People were still accustomed to bald men returning from the war and were able to put their baldist differences aside and take a leap of faith at the polls.

Fifty years later, however, baldism has reared its head in presidential politics and is destined to play an integral role, whether it's conscious or subconscious, in the 2008 election. We cannot deny this anymore. Looking at this year’s crop of well-groomed candidates, the Democratic " field has no bald candidates, while the Republicans have two bald candidates, Sen. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, both considered top-tiered candidates. Clearly, history is stacked up against these guys and, as is the case with most bald presidential hopefuls, they have insurmountable odds to overcome in the next year.

Knowing two of their top three candidates are bald, the GOP has been internally struggling to find a viable candidate. They’re still looking for their white knight, and it appears former Sen. Fred Thompson may come to save the day. He’s already generating a buzz among GOP circles, but before they get their hopes up too high, they may want to proceed with caution.

News flash: Fred Thompson is bald! There, I said what had to be said.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson strikes former President Ford-like pose

When my hairline began receding in high school, I knew then that my presidential aspirations had begun to recede as well. I’ve vowed to never buy into the illusion that I can overcome the obstacles of balding by gradually concealing my follicle shortcomings with a hairpiece, veiling it with a comb-over, or replenishing my hair loss by transplanting hair from other, unmentionable parts of my body. I knew if I wanted to become president, I would have to change the baldists and put an end to baldism once and for all. My job is to change the closeted behaviors of all the baldists out there, who claim they are not, but behind the curtain know very well they could never vote for a bald president.

It’s time to pull back the political comb-overs, throw out the hair pieces and blur the hairline between the Two “Hair” Americas. We, Americans, need to start focusing on the meat of the issues, rather than obsessing on our wait staff’s hair, or better yet, lack of hair.

So I ask again: Is America ready for another bald president? Possible choices: (A) Not Sure, (B) Don’t Know, or (C) Don’t Care.

If you answered "C," you are correct in the sense that you paid attention to the front end of the column and have followed my advice. I will give you partial credit if you guessed "C" – since that’s what most Americans have been trained to do when they have absolutely no idea as to the answer.

Don’t worry, if you answered or guessed "A" or "B," there is still hope, although, this is contingent upon divine timing and whether or not you’re home when FOX News calls and asks you some questions thinly veiled by a newsworthy comb-over.

Cross-Posted at "Iowa Independent"