Think on that for a moment. Why are we not knocking on doors and burning up phone lines and filling up mailboxes (real and virtual) to get our - let me emphasize that - our Representatives to represent us?
Because who exactly is "us"?
It's been noted many times how hardline newly elected Republicans have been over the past few years, refusing to co-operate or compromise with the Obama administration while being more than happy to grandstand even if it leads to a governmental shut down. But they were elected to do exactly that, swept to power on the back of Tea Party rhetoric. Can't they claim to be representing their constituents and doing exactly what they were elected to do when they play hardball?
How about the example I gave above of the tank research? In national terms that's clearly not us being represented in a wider context; it's spending very few want. But for the politicians from Ohio? Isn't securing virtually half a billion dollars of jobs, contracts and investment for their state a perfect example of them representing their region? And if another politician supported that on the basis that those politicians would later support him when fighting for similar pork barrel spending being sent to their state. couldn't they claim they were doing so for the good of their constituents?
"Us" isn't just people that think like you. It's also the complete racist who thinks Strom Thurmond was the greatest politician of his lifetime, it's the hardcore communist who think Sanders is just a corporate shill, it's the strict libertarian who think the government should spend about $6.50 a year, it's the religious evangelical who thinks Gay Marriage is an abomination, it's the most extreme of feminists, it's the rancher from Colarado, the unemployed mother from Detroit, the docker from Boston, the trader in Wall Street, the artist in Austin, the recent immigrant in Texas and the tech worker in San Francisco.
Here's a back of a matchbox numbers illustration of that. Let's say Sanders wins the election. Turnout tends to be around 55%, so already you've got 45% of the voting population who don't support him. Of that 55% who actually voted the chances are that just under half voted for someone else, so that 55% is basically split in too; already you've got Sanders only really having the support of just over a quarter of the country. Then you have to consider that some of the people who voted for him in the Presidential election actually opposed him when selecting a candidate; let's say he wins that popular vote 60/40 and make the almost certainly incorrect assumption that the same number of people who voted for him the Presidential election took place in the Primary race and that third is down to around a sixth (and in reality that number will be far lower as less people vote to select a candidate then take part in the election itself).
So what are we left with? Roughly 17% of the voting population who actually wanted and supported Sanders (and as above that number should be lower). The other 83%? They either opposed him or didn't care either way.
That analysis applies equally to Clinton, Trump, Cruz, Rubio or whoever does become President (and the Republican numbers may be even lower considering the number of candidates to split the vote). Truth be told it also applies to the example I gave above of the Tea Party politicians... they may have been elected on a swell of public opinion in their favour but between primaries, popular vote and voter turnout the people who actively supported them are in the clear minority. And for that 17% or so who actively support the eventual President? There's going to be at least 17% who active oppose him.