Sometimes it seems that way. Our current prezzie is a real dud, as was his predecessor.
In presidential elections, the primaries are somewhat farcical. Suppose that you're a member of either major party, the Tweedledees or the Tweedledums.
If you vote for your first choice in the primary, and if your guy wins in a neck-and-neck horse race, he may lose in the general election, because he's considered too extreme by voters in the other party. Congratulations, you've just shot your party in the foot.
That's why many primary election participants vote for the guy who they feel has the best chance of defeating the other party's nominee. Mediocrity rules.
There is an alternative voting system. It's called Instant Runoff Voting, as advocated by the Green Party. You rank-order at least three of the candidates.
If your first choice doesn't win, your second choice still counts. No more Wasted Vote Syndrome.