Roll Call: Gold Standard Issue Has Potential to Unify
Writing in Roll Call, Jeffrey Bell of the American Principles Project zeros in on an emerging, potentially unifying issue: a return to the gold standard:
A poll conducted in October by Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 Americans about their views regarding a return to the gold standard, which was formally abandoned in 1971 during the Nixon administration. Men follow this debate more closely than women, and they support the gold standard by a wider margin.
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When asked how favorable they are to the idea of re-establishing hard currency, a plurality (44 percent) of the populace as a whole is either somewhat or very supportive.
When, however, Americans are informed that re-establishing the gold standard would “dramatically reduce the power of central bankers and political leaders to steer the economy,” the favorability gap between men and women completely disappears, and 57 percent of all Americans say they support this step. The number is an impressive 69 percent among Republicans and 59 percent among voters not affiliated with either party, and it is a majority among nearly all demographic groups. Not surprisingly, the gold standard is essentially the default position of voters who count themselves as tea party adherents — they favor a return to the stability of gold as a standard of reference by an overwhelming 79 percent.
Numbers like these mean that a gold-backed currency is a sleeper issue in these final months of the Republican primaries and next year’s general election. Gold has the potential to unite disparate elements of the electorate that sense the distortions in the economy that have been born of the Federal Reserve’s ability to hemorrhage the money supply and the political class’s ability to rain those dollars on a favored few like so many aerial leaflets. In fact, the political class, one of Rasmussen’s regular polling subgroups, is among the very few that offer majority opposition (52 percent) to reducing their power to manipulate money.