Election Day is less than three weeks away, but that doesn't mean much to me, because I'm not voting. I'll go into work, read PolicyMic on my computer, check some exit polls in the early afternoon, and hopefully not encounter any radical offshoots of the New Black Panther Movement. It will be business as usual. That's because I'm a member of the 79%, and until the Electoral College is abolished, my vote, as a resident of New York state, will be absolutely meaningless. The Electoral College has already awarded three elections to losers of the popular vote (not to mention that the "electors" are a bunch of partisan tools and fools).
The top 38.5 million Americans who live in "swing states" are the 12.1%. Their votes matter most, and therefore they get the best promises and treatment from presidential candidates. The people who reside in Florida (19.05 million), Ohio (11.54 million), and Virginia (8.10 million) are this lucky 12.1%. (Of course, the above figures recognize that not all eligible voters vote, and that ineligible residents, like children, are included in these statistics.) Like it or not, this year, these folks are the cream of the crop.
Then, just below them are 27.6 million people, our second, or "business" class of citizenry, the fine people who live in New Hampshire (1.32 million), Nevada (2.72 million), Colorado (5.17 million), Iowa (3.06 million), Wisconsin (5.71 million), and North Carolina (9.66 million). These people represent 8.8% of the population, and their votes, collectively, could affect the outcome of the election.
This above population represents 21% of America. The rest of us, we are the 79%. Let's put that number out there. Let's make it as ubiquitous as the 1% and the 99% and the 47%!
We are the 79%. We are useless. We are slaves to the 21%. The only way that we can vote, paradoxically, is with our money, by donating it to our limited choice presidential candidates and political parties and PACs and other quasi-shady organizations who can then bombard these 21% with enough media propaganda to make them see the light. (Yes, our situation could be regarded as worse than the Three-Fifths Compromise. I'd take three-fifths of a vote over none!)
Sure, as a member of the 79% you can still help elect senators, governors, congressmen (and women), and local officials, but that's not the crux of why you're proud to be an American. You want to be electing the person who comes out on top, the person who will be, for the next four years, the leader of the free world. You don't want to be relegated to the minor leagues, yet you are. Perhaps, forever. Abolish the horribly antiquated Electoral College, and then the 79% will be free.
This article first appeared on PolicyMic.com.