It isn't that you have to have a beard to be a man (I just shaved mine off). It's that you have to have earned the right to consider yourself a man, to be a man. Oh sure, there's plenty of people who are going to tell you that you don't have to serve to be a man (99% of America to be exact), but let's face it, you and I both know that there's something that sets us apart. There's something that sets all of us who willingly put our lives on the line, whether it be in the military, as a firefighter, or as a police officer, apart from the rest. But maybe the 99% are right and us 1 percenters are wrong.
So maybe the issue is with what the beard conveys that is important. It's rugged individualism. It's the mountain-man. It's the quintessential country boy can survive. None of which can be equated with the majority of those who are donning beards: hipsters.
Yet hipsters donning beards are really just analogies for our nation at large. The beauty about the American Dream is that it is a dream. America and Americans subsist on dreams. Our ancestors came over to America because they dreamed of a better life. 49ers went out to California dreaming of gold. A mighty nation sprang out of the ash-heap of the Civil War, because Americans dreamed that they could be the greatest nation on earth. The dream is powerful. But the dream is also subversive.
In all those cases, Americans went out and chased their dreams. Some failed. Some succeeded. But all went out there to make their dreams a reality.
Today it seems that only dreaming is enough. We dream of maintaining American dominance in the world. Yet we do not do what is needed to maintain our dominance. We dream of creating 21st century jobs in America. Yet we neither pay public school teachers an enticing wage, nor do we take the steps necessary to ensure that American children are ready to compete with the world (the lack of pre-k education is just one example). We dream of keeping a prosperous middle class. Yet we give to the top and give to the bottom at the expense of the middle. We dream of a great America. Yet we are too lazy or too frightened to hold our politicians to account (not leaders…because many have shown themselves to be anything but).
American’s have become hipsters. We love our past greatness like hipsters love vinyl (seriously… there’s a reason why we went from 8 track, to cassette tape, to CD, to digital music... and just because America went to the moon in the 60s doesn’t mean we can’t be great again). Americans like hipsters confuse irony with hypocrisy. This is why a dream without action is the same as a hipster with a beard; both are lacking of substance and severely misguided.