By Mynyr Z. Nazifi-
This November we as Americans face one of the biggest decisions this country has had to make in modern history. A decision that will not only affect our lives but will also impact the lives of future generations to come. This November we are not just deciding between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. We are choosing what kind of world we want to live in and what kind of world we want to leave for our children and grandchildren. And for those reasons it is clear that Joe Biden is the best choice for America and Albanians all over the world.
Being born in the former Yugoslavia in 1950 (modern day Republic of North Macedonia), I witnessed the failings of socialism firsthand. Aside from the widespread corruption and exploitation of its citizens, voting was an absolute joke. The government did whatever it wanted and the people had no voice. This never sat well with me and as a teenager I became an activist and fought against the horrors of Yugoslavian socialism and Albanian communism, demanding basic human rights and the better treatment of my fellow citizens and Albanians. It wasn’t until years later that those demands were met with the final dismantlement of Yugoslavia, but at that point I had long since moved to America in search of a better life for my family and myself.
As a 21-year-old newlywed it was not an easy decision for me to just pick up and move to America with my young bride. Aside from the difficulty of leaving loved ones behind, not knowing if and when we would see them again, neither of us spoke a word of English or knew how to get started with our new lives. But what we did know was that the promise of American freedom was worth the risk. I know many of you reading this had to make the same difficult decision when you too decided to come to America in search of a better life. And for that opportunity we should all consider ourselves very lucky. Because had the Trump Administration’s immigration policies been the prevailing sentiment, many of us would not have made it to this wonderful country let alone call ourselves American citizens.
Coming to this country with little more than the clothes on my back and a growing family to support, hard work was not a choice but necessary for survival. At times I worked multiple jobs, going days, weeks and even months without getting to relax and spend quality time with my family. But from that sacrifice I was able to experience the American dream and now own multiple successful businesses with the help of my family. And for that reason, I always try to vote for my pocket and still consider myself a Republican to this day. As a businessman, my support for the Republican party began in 1980 when a vote for Ronald Reagan meant a vote for small government, smart fiscal policy and most importantly common sense. But over the years the party has strayed, capitalizing on an already polarized nation by feeding the flames with racist, nationalist and divisive rhetoric.
I look forward to the day that I can again vote Republican, but it will not be this November 3rd because to describe the damage that Donald Trump has done to this country one could fill the pages of this gazette ten times over without even scratching the surface. We live in a world constructed in his image. New turmoil on the news daily, mistrust in every direction and above all else hate all around us. We cannot blame all of today’s problems on Donald Trump but we can ask ourselves if we honestly believe that he made any of them better. For me the answer is clear. Joe Biden will be my vote for the next US President. In these uncertain times he is exactly what our country needs – a levelheaded and experienced professional not plagued by the selfishness and dishonesty we as a nation have grown to accept from Donald Trump. So while we might not be able to undue all of the damage that Donald Trump has done, voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this November is a start. For that reason, I ask all Albanians, especially those in swing states like Wisconsin and Michigan, to consider all of the ways a Biden presidency will help you and your community. From restoring the healthcare benefits Donald Trump is trying to cut to making it easier to bring loved ones to the United States as immigrants and visitors, Joe Biden has the best interests of the Albanian people in mind. So the only question is, come election day will you?