The signs that Donald Trump would become the next US president were obvious but his excesses obscured all of them: Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity; Trump’s appeal to blue collar workers and the fact that Trump’s supporters were much more enthusiastic about him than Clinton’s supporters were enthusiastic about her.
There is, however, another, largely understated reason, why Republicans will want the next President of the United State to be a Republican.
Shortly after the “access Hollywood” tape was released most people wrote off Trump’s chances of winning the election until FBI dropped the bombshell about Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.
After the FBI bombshell, the polls started tightening even though a lot of political pundits concluded that the FBI’s announcement had not really affected people’s voting intentions. What happened was that as the election day approached a lot of Republicans who had earlier been opposed to Donald Trump decided to overlook his shortcomings and vote for him, anyway.
It is interesting to note that the election of Donald Trump buttresses the fact that Americans, especially Republicans, realise that in this particular election, the issues at stake are bigger than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
For a number of Republicans, the real issue at stake is “SCOTUS” and not “POTUS. Put simply, the reason why a number of Republicans finally decided to overlook Trump’s shortcomings and vote for him is because he will certainly be responsible for nominating at least one, possibly two or even three US Supreme Court Justices.
Since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia on the 13th of February 2016 there has been a vacancy at the US Supreme Court and a Republican-controlled Congress vowed never to confirm anybody President Obama, a Democrat, nominated.
Obama would naturally nominate a liberal and not a conservative Justice and that would tilt the Supreme Court in favour of the liberals for the first time in forty-five years. At present, there are four liberal Justices and four Conservative Justices. The appointment of another liberal judge will alter the composition of the US Supreme Court in favour of liberal laws.
Hillary Clinton, had she won the election, would have nominated a liberal to fill the vacancy.
To traditional Republicans, the prospect of having more liberal Justices in the US Supreme Court than conservative Justices is unbearable. Much more unbearable than having the first African-American president.
They believe there are too many issues at stake to leave in the hands of a liberal leaning US Supreme Court; the 2nd Amendment Rights (Right to bear arms), abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration reforms, death penalty, just to mention a few.
It probably also explains why Congress remains in the hands of Republicans.
There’s virtually nothing in the way of Trump’s US Supreme Court nominees from being approved by Congress now.
The rest of the world may not be very comfortable with a Trump Presidency but Republicans realise that he has only been given a four year mandate and within that four-year period he will restore the composition of the US Supreme Court in their favour and that has a much more lasting if not permanent effect because decisions handed down by the court are almost always final, but on rare occasions, the court’s decisions can be undone by a constitutional amendment, which requires a vote from two-thirds of the states.
Also, and this should come as a bit of a consolation, the US President can do almost nothing without Congress approval and the Judiciary can declare any Law passed by Congress as unconstitutional, therefore null and void. So maybe the most powerful institution in the United States is actually the Supreme Court and not the office of the President.