The election results are in, and it's clear what NYC, state and national voters expect from their candidates -- a full head of hair.
From re-elected Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the other winners across the nation, it's tough to find many bald guys. How did we get that awful Michael Grimm-Domenic Recchia congressional contest in Staten Island? Look no farther than the tops of their heads.
Although about 50 percent of American men are bald or balding, we have not elected a bald president in nearly 60 years (Gerald Ford wasn't elected). In the last NYC mayoral race, hirsute Bill de Blasio trounced bald Joe Lhota. In fact, the last bald NYC mayor was Ed Koch, first elected in 1977 (no, I don't count Rudy Giuliani's comb-over -- actually, it proves my point).
Yes, we've elected a few chrome domes -- e.g., Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey -- but they are the exceptions to the rule. In the most recent national election, we had President Barack Obama, with a full head of hair (although it's rapidly turning gray), while on the Republican side, Ken doll-haired Mitt Romney got the nomination over Ken doll-haired Rick Perry.
Why is this happening? Why TV, of course. John F. Kennedy was the first to realize the power of the medium, getting made up and coiffed while Richard Nixon refused to do so. It's a sad fact that men who are widely considered among our greatest presidents (Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt) probably wouldn't stand a chance today (Lincoln wasn't telegenic, FDR was disabled).
I'm getting a little tired of these TV personality-type contestants running for office -- and I don't mean just "American Idol" runner-up and North Carolina congressional candidate Clay Aiken. Seems as long as a male candidate has a full head of hair, it doesn't matter if his head is empty.
Come to think of it, the only difference between our modern elections and the Miss America pageant is that very few politicians say they want world peace. Hey, they don't want to come across as a wimp!
Elections are more and more becoming beauty contests. Why do we seem to keep getting a parade of shallow candidates with shiny hair and gleaming teeth?
Perhaps it's time to check the mirror.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.