Many assumed that President Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” were simply hot air intended to prevent him being seen as a loser. Then came January 6th, when Trump incited a riot in which his supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the election results.
When the smoke settled, the seat of American democracy was trashed and five people were dead. Trump’s failed coup may see him end up being impeached, and former Governor of California and Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger has now issued a stern warning from the past for US lawmakers.
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
In the above video message, Arnie draws on his own dark family history. His father Gustav voluntarily joined the Nazi Party in 1938 and fought in the battle of Stalingrad. Schwarzenegger describes him as typical of his generation, full of guilt and regret for his actions. He goes on to compare the deadly invasion of the Capitol with Kristallnacht, the notorious pogrom carried out by Nazi troops and supporters in November 1938 that ransacked Jewish businesses and destroyed synagogues.
Schwarzenegger criticizes Trump’s lies and says “he will go down in history as the worst President ever.” He then makes an appeal to Republican lawmakers to look beyond their selfish interests and quotes Teddy Roosevelt, saying: “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.”
He ends on a hopeful note, stating that America will come back from the brink of fascism and can be a beacon of hope to the world again. Then he pulls out Conan the Barbarian’s sword, explaining that the more a sword is tempered, the stronger it becomes.
These are dark days for American democracy, no doubt, but the actor hopes that “we can heal, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans.” And for those seeking to overturn the US constitution, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a simple message: “You will never win.”