The Importance of the 2020 Election: How to Save Our Democracy

Mac Regan


This is an excerpt from Mac Regan’s new book, The 2020 American Revolution. Printed with permission.


Citizens know that things are amiss. The country’s historical formula for success—combining Constitutional values, democracy, and capitalism—is out of balance and increasingly unable to adapt.

Americans are socially divided, unsure of the future, and politically polarized. Government leadership is partisan, unable or unwilling to address the nation’s issues, and mired in hostile and often misleading dialogue. Businesses prioritize stock price, short-term profits, and political influence over the drivers of long-term success— job creation, increased wages, worker training, and contributions to community and society.

Internationally, America is at odds with long-standing allies, less likely to stand up to human-rights abusers, and confrontational with major trading partners. Tweeted threats and saber-rattling have replaced bipartisan diplomacy.



It remains to be seen whether the Trump legacy will be one of draining the swamp and making America great or creating a deeper morass of increased income inequality, environmental degradation, and trade policies and tariffs that reduce Americans’ ability to sell their products while simultaneously increasing their own costs.

It seems certain that the 2020 presidential and congressional elections will be the most ferociously contested, costly, and consequential in memory. If America’s founding patriots could tweet from the grave, they would warn us about the destabilizing potential of a failure to address the ills that threaten our historical values. This scorecard includes legacy racial segregation and ethnic intolerance (aren’t all created equal?), religious fundamentalism (what about separation of church and state?), increasing wealth and income inequality (does this “promote the general welfare”?), disproportionate and often harmful influence of the wealthy and powerful on our elected representatives (is this government “of the people, by the people”?), and radicalization of both major political parties (is this aiding “a more perfect Union”?).



That said, a majority of citizens acknowledge our problems, are passionate about many issues, and enjoy large tracts of middle-ground consensus. But it is unclear if they will vote in sufficient numbers (particularly in congressional and gubernatorial elections) to negate the impact of highly organized and well-funded cadres of uncompromising, win-at-all costs conservatives and liberals. It is also unclear how voters, in the era of fake news, compromised social media, and information overload will systematically sort through dizzying amounts of information and disinformation to allow a well-informed vote.

Reasserting the primacy of citizens and aligning our representatives to the “general welfare” are the central challenges of the 2020 elections. It is said that Americans love a fight or a show. The 2020 elections will be both. However, citizens will not advance America via partisan disagreement or by watching from the sidelines.


The stakes are high. Do we want increasing wealth inequality and imbalances in power and influence, social fracturing and unrest, deterioration of the natural environment, subpar economic growth, inability to change and respond to problems, increased risk of financial and trade market collapses, unchecked political corruption and cronyism, loss of access to opportunity, and inadequate future supplies of workers?



After years of legislative and social gridlock, these failings are at a critical stage. But irreversible damage to our historical values, our democracy, and our capitalism can be avoided. The last line of defense now, as in 1776, is citizens who can make informed decisions and have the patriotic courage to sacrifice, compromise, and overcome bias in the service of America. The 2020 revolution for America will depend on objectivity and critical thinking rather than firelocks and cannons; it will be fought among candidates with big policy and philosophical differences rather than against an oppressing foreign power; and it will be decided by voter turnout rather than military victory.

The previously politically disengaged, independents, moderates, millennials, and crossover centrists will determine the 2020 election. Failure of these groups to participate and make a well-informed choice will leave America at the mercy of its political pols. Citizen patriots must do their most fundamental job: vote.



This is an excerpt from Mac Regan’s new book, The 2020 American Revolution. Printed with permission.


Author Bio:


Mac Regan spent 35 years as a consultant and executive for Mercer, a large multinational corporation, before attending the Graduate Master of Arts Program (GMAP) at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University), where he honed his understanding of the U.S. from a global perspective. He has written, researched, and spoken extensively on the imbalances in the American system of constitutional values, democracy and capitalism, and is the author of Global Citizen Patriots in addition to his newest book, The 2020 American Revolution.


Highbrow Magazine


Image Sources:

--Courtesy of the author

--Pxfuel (Creative Commons)

--Anthony Quintano (Flickr, Creative Commons)

--U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Cristian L. Ricardo (, Creative Commons)


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