The former GOP California Governor and current action star condemned President Trump and the GOP supporters that “enabled his lies” in a lengthy Twitter video addressing the Capitol riot.
Seated in front of the American and California flags, Schwarzenegger reminded Americans that he is an immigrant from Austria, then likened the siege on the Capitol building to an incident that is widely considered to be the beginning of the Holocaust.
“I grew up in Austria. I’m very aware of Kristallnacht, or the night of broken glass. It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys. Wednesday was the day of broken glass right here in the United States,” he began.
“The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol. But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideals we took for granted,” the Terminator star continued. “They did not just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy, they trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.”
During Kristallnacht, Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues were destroyed throughout Germany, 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Schwarzenegger was born two years after WWII concluded. He explained that he grew up “surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history.”
“It all started with lies, and lies, and lies and intolerance. So, being from Europe, I’ve seen firsthand how things can spin out of control,” he noted. Then mentioned that people feared the same thing could happen in the United States, though he does not believe the country is headed in that direction, but that we must be “aware of the dire consequences of selfishness and cynicism.
He then lashed out at Trump for “misleading people with lies,” to incite the incident. “President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election, and of a fair election. He sowed the coup by misleading people with lies. My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies, and I know where such lies lead.”
Schwarzenegger slammed Trump and his political supporters. “President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is that he soon will be as irrelevant as an old tweet,” he stated. “But what are we to make of those elected officials who have enabled his lies and his treachery? I will remind them of what Teddy Roosevelt said – patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.”
He accused “spineless” GOP members of being complicit with “those who carried the flag of self-righteous insurrection into the capital.” Then called for public servants to serve higher ideals, “something larger than their own power,” and party.
The actor said that “America will come back from these dark days,” and held up a sword from his 1982 film Conan the Barbarian, to illustrate that the nation would come back stronger.
“Here’s the thing about swords, the more you temper a sword, the stronger it becomes,” in reference to the heating process used to harden a blade. “Our democracy is like the steel of this sword, the more it is tempered, the stronger it becomes.”
He concluded his video by imploring Americans, despite which political party they support, to put democracy first and embrace Joe Biden as the president.
My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world following this week's attack on the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/blOy35LWJ5
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 10, 2021