I keep hearing some version of this:
"I'm going to vote down ticket, but not vote for President. I won't vote for Trump, but I don't want Hillary to have a mandate. I hope for her to win by a squeaker. I hope for low turnout so 'they' will know the people are tired of [insert whatever here]. But I mean ... I hope she wins because she's better than Trump, but she mustn't be permitted to believe she Really Won."
Or be permitted to believe she has the right to, y'know, govern. Because that's what 'no mandate' means. A blank check to continue not confirming justices, or ... whatever Republicans come up with next, in their relentless determination to stop elections from having an outcome, if their guy doesn't happen to win.
But let's set that aside for a moment. Instead, I have some words of comfort for my friends on the Right.
Here's the deal, fellas: There is no mandate at stake here. You needn't worry that she'll believe she 'really won', or that if she entertains the notion for a moment, that she won't be immediately disabused of it. It breaks my heart a little that my first Lady Prez isn't squared off against a worthy opponent, and she won't take her place at the head of table with proper accolades and hard-earned feelings of victory. But there it is. She is running against a Soviet-era sewage plant; a burning heap of tires, tar and week-old shrimp. She's not running against a normal version of a conservative or debating a sane conservative agenda. There's no having a mandate, and your vote won't give her one, not even if she gets 90%. It's just true. It makes me sad, but this situation simply isn't the stuff that mandates are made of. Her victory will be accompanied more by that wasted feeling of relief and nausea that you have when you barely avoid spinning out on a busy highway, than by pride.
But. What a low turnout will do? I'll tell you what it'll do. It'll embolden the people who gave you this piece of shit in the first place. The people who enabled and elevated him will hear, loud and clear, that they came damned close to the brass ring. If Hillary wins by 1%, they will be galvanized. They will come back for more. Guaranteed. So, actually, I take it back. There is a mandate at stake. It's just that it has zero to do with Clinton.
If you don't get your asses down there and say that this garbage human is Un. Ac. Cepta. Ble, well. YOU did what comes next, which is you get someone worse next time. And yes, it can be worse. There is no bottom to the Tea Party barrel. Nothing reactionary Christians won't do to reverse the last 50 years. No crazy rhetoric the lunatic fringe won't eat, if you ice it in an American flag. Admit it: You thought Palin was as bad as it gets. Well, joke's on you, because Donald is, against all odds, worse. By a lot. You want your party back? Well, then, reject this shit forever. Send them off to play Third Party games like the fringe they ought to be. I'm sorry you don't like her. I'm sorry you spent 30 years of blood, sweat and treasure trying to ruin and/or jail her, and failed (#sorrynotsorry). But Clinton, such as she is, happens to be the tire iron you have available to beat back the savages. And while you're about it, you might want to bring said tire iron to a little talk with the party leaders who put you in this situation, just saying.
Back in the run-up to the '08 election, your party leaders thought they could jet out to the red states, whisper 'Kenya' and 'terrorism' and 'nigger' into people's ears, secure their votes via fear and loathing, and scamper back to civilization, nobody the wiser. It'd be fine -- they'd run the country business as usual. But they found that toothless yokels are only dumb to the same percentile as the rest of us, might be ignorant, but are often canny, and for sure are not so easily manipulated as all that. So they lost control of the beast that is the assholes I grew up with, and now literally certifiable lunatics have the keys to the castle. (That's a terrible sentence, but you see what I'm saying?)
Anyhow, the only message you can send, as a patriot and a thinking person, is that all of this bullshit -- Palin, Trump, and all the tin-horn know-nothing Napoleons in backwater districts all over the nation, are done. Over. That happens with high turnout. That happens with a decisive victory for Clinton. That happens with the Left getting the Senate. You'll survive, just as I did Bush & Co. (Hell, I even had to swallow the reality that, the 2nd time, he won fair and square. If you don't think that disturbed my rest...wow. It was awful.) But do it. Go pull the lever for Clinton, gritting your teeth if you must, and you can spend the interim ridding yourselves of the infestation. When that's done, you can run a real candidate. Life can go on. Tell Donald Trump, and everyone who jammed him down your throats, to fuck off. There's your mandate.
But low turnout, my ass. This is what's next, with a low turnout. This is a serious problem:
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) made a noteworthy declaration about his post-election political intents on Monday, though it was lost amid his joke, for which he has since apologized, about shooting Hillary Clinton. Should he head back to the Senate, Burr pledged, he would try to block any Supreme Court nomination from a President Clinton. “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court,” he said.
Get your game face on, and get down there and vote. your. conscience. The whole ticket. You owe the rest of us making a choice.