GR US

The Greek-American Community and the Elections

Αssociated Press

A television screen shows Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden holding up a mask, as President Donald Trump talks with reporters on Air Force One while returning to Washington after a campaign rally at Central Wisconsin Airport, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

With about 50 days to go before the general election, the two main presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, are on the campaign trail again and are trying to win the votes of various minorities.

For example, Biden visited Florida a few days ago to speak to Hispanics, with whom he is said to have lost ground, while Trump is flattering American Jews by signing an agreement to establish diplomatic relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain in the White House. Indeed, this is a really great success - probably the biggest of his presidency.

We (the Greek-American community), of course, do not have a large number of voters, like the Hispanics, nor great economic power, like the American Jews, which would make us a field of intense battles between the two presidential opponents.

However, we are not negligible - both in terms of numbers, but also in financial contributions. And we have strong presences in important battleground states.  And yet, so far, the candidates have virtually ignored us. Why?

Let no one doubt that the position of the government in the Greek-Turkish crisis has taken into account the factor of the Greek-American Community. But this is balanced, if not overshadowed, by Trump's relationship with Erdogan.

However, the old relationship of closeness and the mutual support between our Community and the Democratic candidate is well known. And I have no doubt that a Biden presidency will have a positive impact on relations between the two countries.

But it would be wrong for Biden to take us for granted. As it would be wrong for him to believe that he will have the universal support of our Community.

On the contrary, Trump maintains enviable support among us, which will probably remain steady from 2016 - if it does not increase.

However, we must keep in mind that candidates will only act in response to the initiatives of our Community.

Our main organizations need to call them. They need to be asked to make a statement about their positions on our national issues.

They need to be asked to bring more Greek-Americans into their administrations.

These things do not happen by themselves.

If the voice of the Greek Diaspora in support of Greece and Cyprus was ever effective and useful, now is the time for it to be heard.

The role of the next President in the future of the two countries of Hellenism will be crucial. It may even be determinative.

And we should not be under the illusion that Turkey will remain uninvolved in one way or another in the upcoming elections.

Now is the time to mobilize. Tomorrow may be too late.