How Chief Justice Roberts' decision helped Trump

There are probably a few big reasons and a million little reasons why Donald Trump won the Presidency, not the least of which was the flawed persona of his main opponent. But history will show that Chief Justice Roberts was a primary cause.

Roberts' correct decision not to intervene in overturning Obamacare led to Trump's victory as it galvanized opponents of President Obama and his policies, and Mrs. Clinton ran more on Obama's legacy than on her husband's. Embracing Obama allowed the many failures of Obama's presidency to be assigned to candidate Clinton. Obama, a still-popular figure on the left, was not going to win Clinton many centrist votes.

Even though I am an opponent of Obamacare, I supported Judge Roberts' opinion. He was condemned by most pundits on the Right, because he was upholding a law that they wanted overturned. Roberts rightly argued in 2012 that Obamacare was not a mandate, it was a tax, and the federal government could set tax policy.

What really happened was Obamacare was a divisive issue that Roberts determined had to be resolved at the ballot box, not by a Supreme Court edict. That judgment proved to be spot on.

We've had a similar experiment going on in Massachusetts with different results. Here, we have passed a law called Proposition 2 1/2, which limits the ability to raise local property taxes too high without a vote of approval by local cities and towns. While this is a great law on its face, and has led to some degree of fiscal constraint, it has also taken away a compelling voting issue from local Republicans. The result: a state with lower taxes than we otherwise probably would have had, but a state with overwhelming control by the Democrats because most voters never got angry enough about taxes to vote for politicians who would limit them. (I contribute to Citizens for Limited Taxation, the group that proposed the Proposition.)

The best we seem to be able to do, every few years, is elect a Republican governor to put a few constraints on the Democratic legislature. But most of our Governors are "RINOs" who "go along to get along" so the Dems get pretty much everything they want, under a thin veneer of bipartisanship. And voters go along with this status quo, reelecting incumbents who keep finding ways to raise our taxes in more subtle ways (sales tax, gas tax, more regulations for local business, higher minimum wages, etc.)

It is possible, of course, that in the land of the Kennedys, no amount of high taxation would turn a majority of voters away from the Democratic Party. So one could argue that Proposition 2 1/2 did not cause this dominance. And if we are going to live under the Liberal yoke, we might as well have slightly lower taxes than we otherwise would have had, had there been no restraint on our legislators to raise taxation. But I think instead that most voters consider their pocketbook and had taxes gone up to the levels across the state that they are here in Acton, we would probably be looking at a Republican, or at least a bipartisan, legislature today.

Sometimes, Chief Justice John Roberts, doing the right thing, even if unpopular, leads to good results. Well done!

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