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Bell: Gold Standard Issue Has Potential to Unify

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.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and businessman Herman Cain have been foremost among the GOP contenders in raising the issue of sound money to frontrunner status among campaign issues. It is no accident that their campaigns are ones that have generally centered on ideas and not on their résumés or fundraising prowess. At the recent Iowa Faith and Freedom summit, Gingrich called “for a dollar as good as gold.” This insight is catching on, and it would be a fit subject for one of the three-hour Cain-Gingrich debates in the style of Lincoln and Douglas that may be in the offing.

Finally, any analyst looking for a secret business agenda in the drive to restore gold as the benchmark of the dollar should ponder this: The idea has strong support among lower-income voters, union members and blacks. For many, the “stone” that matters most now is the money of gold. Candidates should take heed. Rebuilding a storehouse of value may become a storehouse of voters and the breakthrough issue of 2012.

Jeffrey Bell is policy director at American Principles Project and head of its Gold Standard 2012 initiative.

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