Grover Cleveland, Progressive and Gold Standard Supporter

The Grover Cleveland Library's website features both President Cleveland's progressive nature...

Campaign Poster, 1888, for Cleveland-Thurman ticket,

courtesy of Wikipedia

... and his confident support for the gold standard. 

Grover Cleveland, a progressive in the truest sense of the word....  was the last of the Jeffersonian presidents (1885-1889, 1893-1897). Before that, as Mayor of Buffalo, he helped fight the corrupt political machine, or “ring” as it was then known, and its patronage and pork barrel politics. In a campaign speech, he said, “It is a good thing for the people now and then to rise up and let the office holders know that they are responsible to the masses.” Cleveland was so successful fighting the machine that he was elected Governor of New York in 1882. Cleveland’s Jeffersonian philosophy as President was described by historian John V. Denson:

Cleveland stood for sound money and the gold standard, and he was opposed to the protective tariff. He advocated the increased respect and sovereignty of the States as a check on the power of the central government. Cleveland generally supported the ideas of a limited federal government and the strict construction of the constitution, a free-market economy, and the separation of banking from government.

Certain prominent, doctrinaire, left-leaning public intellectuals show relentless hostility to the gold standard.  That said, and as President Cleveland demonstrates, there is no inherent tension between progressive political ideals and the gold standard. 

Indeed, the gold standard's ability to foment a climate of equitable prosperity may be as crucial to the effectiveness of social democrats as it is to classical liberal republicans.  It is a policy option by nature as appealing to Democrats as to Republicans.

As Cleveland himself once said, "I would rather the man who presents something for my consideration subject me to a zephyr of truth and a gentle breeze of responsibility rather than blow me down with a curtain of hot wind."