The best advice for Senator McCain that we've read is the call in the adjacent columns, by Larry Kudlow, for the senator to lead a campaign in respect of the dollar. Mr. Kudlow, a supply-sider of the Reagan school, reckons Mr. McCain should campaign to reverse the declining fortunes of what he calls "the Bush wartime dollar" because, as Mr. Kudlow puts it, "America's prestige is on the line." He notes that today's dollar is worth barely a thousandth of an ounce of gold. He warns that the falling dollar "is perceived as a sign of American decline," and he comprehends that it's "a very bad sign."
...Not that the dollar itself needs to be, or should be, a political issue. It is the most ubiquitous symbol of American power and integrity, one that transcends the political parties and goes, as Mr. Kudlow so wisely points out, to our reputation as a nation. It has always struck us as no coincidence that the period of growth and American advance that occurred in the years of Reagan was also a period when the dollar was slowly but steadily gaining value, under, as it happens, the management of Paul Volcker, on whose watch it was brought up off the lows of less than an 800th of an ounce to which it had plunged during the long inflation of the 1970s. This is the period during which we won the Cold War and reached the height of our global credibility. It will be hard indeed for the Democrats to seize this plank given the other planks of spending and trade protection and taxes they are putting in place. Mr. McCain, however, is, as Mr. Kudlow suggests, perfectly placed to use this plank as a springboard between now and November.
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