How many Greek-Americans support Trump? Gathering from the four staff members of Greek American descent Trump has appointed and the controversial loudmouth, right-wing supporter Milo Yiannopoulos, I’d venture to say “too many.” It seems that Trump has found many eager bedfellows in the Greek-American community. As a Greek American, a first-generation immigrant, and as a woman, I am appalled at the servile, fawning bootlicking bestowed a borderline megalomaniacal dictator that has come from my own community. While the Greek American community has historically leaned to the right, for this presidency it has tipped over.
Even before Trump won, an Orthodox priest of the Greek Archdiocese “blessed” him for victory. On the eve of Trump’s inauguration, an article by Greeknewsonline noted how Archbishop Demetrios donned the Medal of Saint Paul, the highest honor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, to Reince Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff, Congressman Gus Bilirakis Republican from Florida, and the newly appointed George Gigicos, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Advance. All three are Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of the Order of St Andrew the Apostle.
In his remarks, Reince Priebus recalled the meeting he had with Archbishop Demetrios and Rev. Alex Karloutsos in 2011, after he became Chairman of the RNC and thanked the Greek Orthodox Community for saving the Republican Party.
Imagine that, the Archbishop, the highest religious official, blessing members of Trump’s Republican staff with a medal! My people, the Greek Orthodox Community, has saved the Republican Party.
The Ellines.com, a Greek site that is all about pumping pride in the achievements of the greater Hellenic Diaspora, ran a post citing that no less than 4 Greek Americans were picked for the Trump’s team.
These four George Papadopoulos, George Gigicos, Reince Priebus, and Christos Marafatsos, were cherry picked because they were ardent Trump supporters. Here’s a little background on them:
He is a part of Trump’s foreign policy team. Papadopoulos, a 2009 graduate of DePaul University, directs an international energy center at the London Center of International Law Practice. He previously advised the presidential campaign of Ben Carson and worked as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has had meetings with the president of Cyprus and the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. He obtained a masters’s degree from the University of London in 2010.
George Gigicos is Trump’s director of advance operations and was one of the first associates in Donald Trump’s team. His owns Telion company. TELION is a comprehensive, event based communications firm specializing in event management and design, public relations, media affairs and advance operations. He partners with corporations, associations, government, political and religious entities to successfully assist in the management of their meetings, conferences, incentive programs and special events.
Greek American Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was elevated to Trump’s White House Chief of Staff. Born to a Greek mother and a German father, Priebus is had the difficult task to unite the Republicans in order to endorse Trump.
The 44-year-old former lawyer Reince Priebus, a Wisconsin native, is close with fellow Midwesterners Mike Pence and Paul Ryan, the vice president-elect and House Speaker respectively. He is also the longest-serving RNC Chairman in the party’s history, a position he was elected to in 2010.
While other Republican party members distanced themselves from Trump’s divisive campaign and frequently outrageous statements, Priebus supported the real estate mogul and developer-turned politician from the beginning, with Trump hailing him as “a superstar” at his victory speech on election night.
“It is truly an honor to join President-elect Trump in the White House as his Chief of Staff,” Mr Priebus said regarding his appointment. “I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism.”
Marafatsos has been selected to represent the Greek and Cypriot American community on the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. Marafatsos’ role was to advise the Coalition and the Republican National Committee on the issues, struggles and accomplishments of the Greek and Cypriot American community.
“We support Donald Trump and his solutions to strengthen communities, foster job creation, support small businesses, and support faith and family principles with conservative action,” says Marafatsos.
The National Diversity Coalition features representatives from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and ethnic groups, including Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, Asian-Americans, Koreans, and Greeks. Many of the representatives are well known and successful, according to Marafatsos. Marafatsos is the president and founder of Blue Sky Capital, an investment brokerage and consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. An active entrepreneur, he was named Third Best Entrepreneur in America under the age of 25 by Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek in 2011.
Marafatsos believes that the Republican candidate will actually take a pro-Greece stance and push the IMF and the EU to offer Greece a much needed debt relief.
And lets not forget, Milo Yiannopoulos:
A September Bloomberg article described him: “Yiannopoulos is the 31-year-old British tech editor and star writer for Breitbart News, where he’s the loudest defender of the new, Trump-led ultraconservatism, standing athwart history, shouting to stop immigrants, feminists, political correctness, and any non-Western culture. Yiannopoulos gained his initial fame as the general in a massive troll war over misogyny in the video game world, known as Gamergate. He was permanently banned from Twitter in July after the social media company said his almost 350,000 followers were responsible for harassing Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. He still has nearly 275,000 subscribers to his YouTube speeches, and CNBC and Fox turn to him as the most notorious spokesman for the alt-right, the U.S. version of Europe’s far right (led at various times by England’s Nigel Farage, France’s Marine Le Pen, Austria’s Jorg Haider, the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders, and Germany’s Frauke Petry). Their followers’ politics are almost exactly the same: They’re angry about globalization—culturally even more than economically. They’re angry about political correctness guilting them about insensitivity to women, minorities, gays, transgender people, the disabled, the sick—the everyone-but-them. They’re angry about feminism. They don’t like immigrants. They don’t like military intervention. They aren’t into free trade. They don’t like international groups such as the European Union, United Nations, or NATO—even the International Olympic Committee. They admire the bravado of authoritarians, especially Vladimir Putin. Some are white supremacists. Most enjoy a good conspiracy theory.”
The self-named, “Dangerous Faggot” had his latest speaking event at UC Berkeley canceled due to massive riots and protests.
Why are so many Greeks for Trump? I am going to be very honest and explain–because the Trump phenomenon brings out the worst character flaws in Greek ethos. He constellates the worst of hubris and other hamartia in every Greek tragic hero under one orange-dyed head. He exaggerates the qualities of Alpha-male-hood: arrogance, aggression, greed, power-obsession, egoism, bigotry–these are all qualities the big alpha-Greek males try to emulate. I think it has something to do with Greek male hierarchy. The top dog for a Greek male seems to be the big powerful CEO and multi-billionaire with status and lots of concubines. This schema of the successful Greek businessman is entrenched in the culture. The Greek American male has created a trope of the successful entrepreneur in the ilk of Aristotle Onassis he is consciously or unconsciously trying to emulate. The schema reeks of pride, ruthless competitiveness, getting ahead at whatever cost to the guy under you, and Power. Power, and in turn success–monetary and social is what motivates the Greek American followers of Trump. The idea is you can be successful by association. By disassociating with the underclasses, the “sheep” the followers, you dig a powerful stake in the totem pole of hegemony you are trying to climb.
But what these upwardly mobile wanna-be members of the elite forget is that they started out as ethnic minorities on the receiving stick of bigotry and discrimination and privilege they are wresting for. The majority of Greek Americans forget their history, that as immigrants and migrant workers in this country they were ousted from communities, lynched, and discriminated against. AHEPA was formed as a reaction against the widespread hate crimes directed against the Greek immigrant community. This same group vouches for the leader that is engaged in inflammatory hate-speech against immigrants, women, African-Americans, in short, all other minority communities. They forget the ideals of democracy that their culture fanned to the world, albeit a privileged democracy for the male land-owning few. They want to forget that they are still part of an ethnic minority even if it passes as white. By siding with the oppressors, they hope to gain power by proxy.
If the Greek American community sides with Trump, it is because they too are a bigoted, misogynistic, power-hungry lot. The Greek American community as a whole lean conservatively because of their migration patterns; those who came to the States heralded from backwater towns and villages with a history of provincialism and back-thumping. They hide fascism in their hearts and defend it by using ethnocentric, nationalistic ideologies. “We are great because we are Greek.”
Frankly, I am ashamed of those who support the ideals that Trump waves. While they have a right to be disenfranchised with the state of affairs of the nation, rallying behind a leader who will lead them down the halls of shame for posterity makes the rest of our community look bad. I am ashamed, yeah, I am ashamed to call myself a Greek American if by association the Greek American community so treasures such a despicable leader.
And before they excuse themselves with the banner of “Hellenism,” I doubt that these Greek American will do anything to support the case of Greece. Will Priebus promote the Greek national issues? There is no guarantee for this. There were a US-presidents’ advisors and cabinet members of Greek origin who did fairly little for the Greek cause, whatever this was in the given times of history. The one thing they will do, as Trump has done, is inflate their own pockets and make the 1% even fatter by manipulating the system that made them billionaires. The Greek American elite that runs with the alpha-wolf will go down as a kakocracy, a great word from our common Hellenic roots, a government run by the worst of the people.
Greek Americans, if you have to go jump in bed with their own worst enemy to show how powerful you are, well then you can go trump yourselves.