Here's a great thread that does an incredible job of explaining the role miners play within the beautiful Bitcoin incentive system. Our boy Matthew uses a great analogy to make this point clear; miners are similar to security guards who are hired to protect an office where a company has decided to house its headquarters. Matthew is far more articulate than I am, so definitely check out the whole thread before reading my spiel.
For you freaks who weren't around last Summer, there was a lot of confusion as differing Bitcoin stakeholders had a heated debate about the future of the protocol and how the network should be scaled. A contingent of these stakeholders strongly believed that miners would have the ultimate say in these matters as they believed the miners' hash power would have the power to dictate what rules got adopted into the protocol, no matter what users or node operators thought. This contingent of stakeholders was proven to be completely wrong by the end of the Summer with the adoption of SegWit via BIP148 (UASF) and the rejection of the 2x movement (an attempt to arbitrarily double the block size after SegWit was accepted). All of this despite the fact that "90% of the hash rate was in support of Bitcoin Cash and, subsequently, SegWit2x.
What we learned towards the end of last Summer is exactly what Matthew is describing in his thread, node operators ultimately decide what Bitcoin is and miners are contracted out to secure the network and collect block rewards and transaction fees for their service. In the long run, miners will mine what has value and that will always turn out to be what full node operators decide Bitcoin is. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
For another great thread from our boy Matthew, I highly recommend you click on this link and learn more about Bitcoin consensus, UASF and SegWit2x. And when you're done reading that, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to take seven more minutes to read Pierre Rochard's piece, Bitcoin Governance.
Have a long flight later this week. Seriously contemplating picking up a neck pillow. Been a pretty big anti-"neck pillow" guy up until now. That may have to change.