In addition to Donald Trump and I sharing the same birth date (June 14th, Flag Day, making him the only natural born flag waver in the presidential race), we also have something else in common: a preoccupation with our hair.
I like to think that my substantial mane looks less like a lacquered squirrel pelt than his, but our acute concern with preventing our carefully sculpted coifs from leaping off our heads and running away is similar. With all the hair-raising things he says, I’m actually surprised The Donald isn’t more concerned about overexciting his comb over.
When he steps onstage to give a speech, it’s always The Hair that gets my attention first. Every strand is so impeccably in place — and always in exactly the same place — that I’d swear it was a well crafted, corn silk weave job. And the length of his locks never changes, have you noticed? He must get his hair trimmed several times a day to prevent any inter-day growth from violating his preferred tress tolerances.
Here’s something else that I know about The Donald, not just because we’re birth twins, but because we’re hair clones: He’s nervous. Really nervous. He’s also self-conscious, insecure, and easily flustered.
Let me tell you why I’m so sure of this. On a good hair day, I’ll be feeling pretty terrific about myself. I’m basically invincible. But let a big gust of wind blow through and my confidence fades like a middle-aged man’s defeated hairline. It’s no accident that virtually every one of Mr. Trump’s campaign events is indoors in a controlled environment.
(Hint to rest of Republican field: Hide mirrors on campaign trail. Watch Trump panic, quit race.)
The Donald might be fooling a lot of people with his bluster, bravado and shameless banana brag, but he can’t fool me. I know that his political paranoia stems from a belief that every follicle on his head is a potential saboteur. When he’s spitting insults at Mexicans with that sour look of disdain, he’s just on edge about the staying power of his hair spray. When he attacks women for being overweight or ugly, he’s merely deflecting attention from a frontal hair shelf that’s four degrees askew. And when he refuses to disavow a Ku Klax Klan leader, he’s simply gauging the political pragmatism of keeping the hooded men nearby in case he needs their pointed head coverings to protect his billion dollar hairdo.
And don’t get The Donald and me started about cowlicks! Forget about ISIS, his first order of business as president should be to stamp out those stubborn little sprigs.
Knowing what I intuitively know about Mr. Trump, there is only one way I’d ever consider voting for him. It wouldn’t require a change of demeanor or less xenophobic worldview, just a new haircut: a low-maintenance, tapered fade that would allow his focus to shift from his pate to the people, or a carefree crew cut that would make him less twitchy with his middle finger on the nuclear button.
Bottom line is, I don’t need candidate Trump to be more manly, I need him to be less mane-ly. If he has any hope of getting my vote, and making America great again, it’s going to have to start at the business end of a razor.
(A version of this essay originally appeared on The Good Men Project website.)