Since the tail end of the 1970s, the Mustached American has faced grave roadblocks in his or her efforts to gain equal treatment within American society.
Consider that since the esteemed Mustached American anchorman Walter Cronkite -- the most trusted man in America at one point -- left the airwaves in March of 1981, how rare has it been to turn on a television and sees a news anchor with a heavily fortified tuft of fur atop the upper lip? Or, when was the last time a CEO with a soup strainer sat upon the front cover of Forbes or Fortune magazines?
A rarity on both accounts, indicative of a sad state of affairs for people of Mustached American descent which has existed in a vacuum for the past 30 years.
But recently, there has been great hope, as The Huffington Post's Anya Strzemien documented recently, suggesting that 2008 was, in fact, the year of the mustache.
As chief executive officer of the American Mustache Institute -- the bravest organization in the history of mankind behind only the U.S. military and the post-Jim Henson Muppets -- let me say that we, the Mustached American people, could not agree more.
Yes we can.
To understand the significance of 2008, let's revisit those glory years for people who champion the Labia Sebucula -- Latin for "lip sweater."
In the 1970s, nearly every man worth his salt had three things: a perm, a finely ribbed turtleneck, and a mustache. Men did not get manicures or have cats. We did not shave our chest. We grew thick, rich mustaches listened to Bread or Earth, Wind & Fire albums, drank vast quantities of 15-year-old Scotch, and led a nation.
Every law enforcement officer was issued a mustache upon entering their position. Our most prominent actors like Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Richard Roundtree, Billy Dee Williams, and Chewbacca all wore lip sweaters. Revered Olympians like Mark Spitz inspired a nation. And even trusted White House aides, ahem, sported mustaches.
But these positions of great stature faded to grey in the 1980s and 1990s, and our people became relegated to nail technicians, motocross riders, pastry repair chefs, and bicycle mechanics. Where once we were represented on television each evening by the most trusted men in the nation, we became lucky if we were radio meteorologists in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Flash forward to 2008, when indeed, Mustached Americans began to regain their swagger.
Some of this, of course, was due to the brave efforts of the American Mustache Institute, which serves as the ACLU of the Mustached American, fighting discrimination at every turn. But there were other forces, and people, lending a hand.
Luminaries such as the New York Times' Tom Friedman continued to drive his steely opinion through the American psyche. Actors like Brad Pitt and George Clooney found it convenient to strap on lip sweaters. Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees paraded his soup straining goodness across the base paths. Daniel Day Lewis became the first mustached Best Actor winner since the late Paul Newman in 1987. And in the halls of Washington, Eric Holder was nominated as Attorney General, and David Axelrod's mustache clearly played a significant role in ushering Barack Obama into the White House.
Indeed, of any indicators, the election of Mr. Obama clearly serves as inspiration for the Mustached American people. We again see hope that we can once again assume positions of leadership and respect as we attained in the 1970s.
Yes, there are greater days ahead for people of Mustached American descent, and moving forward the American Mustache Institute plans to galvanize the American people to:
1. Lobby President-elect Obama to grow a presidential mustache sometime during his first term to demonstrate solidarity with another disenfranchised group.
2. Continue our work in identifying Mustached Americans who can run for public offices as we work toward the day when we, too, can celebrate one of our own reaching the nation's highest office.
3. Continue to lobby Congress to ensure that Burt Reynolds birthday -- February 11 -- is made into a federal holiday.
4. Push for our annual event -- 'Stache Bash -- to evolve into the "Million Mustache March."
5. Battle the Beard Congress, who first lobbied and helped institute the Federal Mustache Tax Amendment in 1965.
6. Work with local, state and federal governments to ensure that police recruits continue to be issued mustaches when joining law enforcement organizations.
7. Step up efforts to pressure corporate America to place Mustached Americans in executive roles.
8. Continue pressuring traditional and new media to highlight the challenges faced by Mustached Americans -- such as the recent disgusting display by the Sylvania Township (Ohio) suspension of a Mustached American officer.
9. Reach across the aisle to the other facial hair lobbyists to pass tax credits for non-shavers. This has an economic benefit and green impact as it results in lower energy use and a decrease in hair-based landfills.
Mustached Americans of all creeds, colors and inseam sizes know that our time is now, and we shall seize this moment for our people, and our nation, and usher the United States back into better times. Yes we can.