Just because a candidate is popular with a large plurality, majority, or even an overwhelming majority of voters doesn't mean that candidate is the right one for the job. In 1972 Nixon won with 47,168,710 votes to McGovern's 29,173,222, a 60.7% to 37.5% super majority of nearly 2:1, and a staggering Electoral vote majority of 520 to 17. McGovern only won Massachusetts and DC. Yet 2 years later Nixon resigned in disgrace, thus avoiding impeachment by the House and his likely removal from office by the Senate. So a vast majority of voters were terribly wrong about Nixon. I was one of them - that was my first election I could vote in, and our state was very "red."Think long and hard before you vote. There are consequences if a majority of us get it wrong. (Think Germany, 1934. While Hitler wasn't elected, he was VERY popular!)
This isn't deciding whether to order fries or onion rings, and that's part of my point. The other point is that people can be wrong, in great numbers, as I stated, but there is more to this equation: Our constitution was set up to, in part, prevent the "tyranny of the majority", which is why I will always support efforts to maintain our republican form of government and oppose efforts to change to a "pure democracy." The House is set up to represent a limited number of people, so, for instance in Colorado, Boulder County's district is sure to send a Democrat to Washington and El Paso County's district is sure to send a Republican, and so it goes across the states. Denver can't dominate those votes, or all our Representatives would be Democrat. But the Senate is set up so that little Wyoming, Delaware, and Nebraska have as much say as Texas, New York, and California, otherwise the more populous states could take what they want from the smaller states; and make no mistake, they would if they could! So back to the presidential race, we must think carefully about who to vote for for president, but we must think about the House and Senate candidates with equal seriousness. The country probably runs best when there are disagreements between the houses of Congress and the President. Compromise is not a bad thing. It often happens that polls will find that people will vote for both party's candidates, one for President, another for house or senate. Another plus is, terms are of limited length. A lot of people who voted for Bush or Obama the first time didn't vote for the same person the second. We can replace a Representative after 2 years, and a Senator after 6. We often don't, but it does happen. G.H.W only served one term, but his son served two. McCain's reelection is not guaranteed this year, even though Arizonans seem to like him and respect him. Yet Colorado's District 5 Representative, who is disliked by a large number of people, can't lose, no matter how hard the Democrats try, because this district is so very Republican. Usually, the Democrats don't waste much time trying here. Yet our Democrat Senator is likely to win reelection, because his Republican opponent is not very strong, nor strongly supported.
There is the additional issue of assertions made on Facebook and Twitter and etc. "The sky is really green" becomes #greensky and an online movement that supports the unsupportable is born. I am not so cynical as to lose hope, though, in part because of the many young people I've had the privilege to know as a teacher, many of whom have or will become participants in our society and will, in their own way, continue moving us toward greater sanity. They are far more self-aware and aware-of and inclined to do something about issues that concern them than we are led to believe in our meme-driven Facebook discourse. So are they also far more tolerant than their elders of those who are different from them, whose experiences and views might illuminate life beyond what they themselves have known, and accepting of the power of love: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Thus, hope lives.