Arnold Schwarzenegger is being praised for sharing a personal video with his thoughts about Donald Trump and the recent riots at the Capitol.
The former California Governor knows a thing or two about politics. In the 7 and a half minute long video, he shares many of his personal experiences.
He reflects on his own childhood, growing up in post World War II Austria: “I heard it with my own hears and saw it with my own eyes.”
Schwarzenegger was born in Austria in 1947, two years after the end of the war. He spoke of how “broken men” struggled with the “guilt of their participation in the most evil regime in history”. He shared stories about his own father and his difficulties with alcohol and domestic abuse.
Learning From The Past
He compared the riots at the Capitol to the 1938 Kristallnacht attacks in Austria. Also known as “Night of Broken Glass”, shards of broken glass covered the streets of Nazi Germany, after paramilitary troops and civilians smashed the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings and synagogues.
“Wednesday was the day of broken glass, right here in the United States. The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol – but the mob did not just shatter glass, they shattered the ideas we took for granted,” he says.
“They did not just break down the doors of the building that houses American democracy, they trampled the very principles on which our country was founded,” he added, seated in front of the US flag and the Californian flag.
“President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election, and of a fair election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies … I know where such lies lead” he warns, alluding to his own father’s past.
He goes on to call Trump “a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.”
Arnold has hope for the future though, saying: “We need public servants that serve something larger than their own power or their own party.”
At one point, he holds a sword aloft that he says is “Conan’s sword” – in reference to his 1982 role as Conan The Barbarian. “The more you temper a sword, the stronger it becomes. The more you pound it with a hammer and then heat it in the fire, and then thrust it into the cold water, and then pound it again … the more often you do that the stronger it becomes”
“Our democracy is like the steel of this sword. The more it is tempered, the stronger it becomes. Our democracy has been tempered by wars, injustices and insurrections. … We will come out stronger because we now understand what can be lost.”
He pledges his support for President-elect Joe Biden: “If you succeed, our nation succeeds. We support you with all our hearts as you seek to bring us together.”
Arnold had a final appeal for unity, too. “We need to look past our parties and disagreements – and put democracy first”.
He continues: “We need to heal – together – from the drama of what has just happened… not as Republicans or Democrats – but as Americans.”
Schwarzenegger was the Californian Governor from 2003 to 2011. This video isn’t a surprise for many because he’s been a long-time foe of Donald Trump.
It started when the Austrian actor replaced Trump as host on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, renamed The New Celebrity Apprentice. Trump tweeted in 2017: “Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show.”
Trump even used the typically sombre National Prayer Breakfast to take a swipe at Schwarzenegger’s ratings.
“They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place, and we know how that turned out… never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings,” he said.
Arnold hit back on Twitter with a 15 second video.
“Hey Donald, I have a great idea — why don’t we switch jobs? You take over TV, because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job, and people can finally sleep comfortably again,” Arnold says.
This video has been a long time coming from Schwarzenegger, and he didn’t hold back. At the time of writing, the video has nearly 30 million views and more than a million likes.
Do you agree with him?
Images via Alamy