Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered an emotional speech comparing the Capitol riots on Wednesday and Donald Trump’s attempted ‘coup’ to the Nazi takeover of his native Austria.
In a seven-minute video posted to Schwarzenegger’s Twitter account on Sunday (Jan 10), the former governor of California, 73, compared the MAGA riots to 1938’s Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, which marked the rise of Nazi Germany.
“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,” Schwarzenegger said. “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 the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideas we took for granted.”
Schwarzenegger drew on his own childhood in Austria, and the impact the aftermath of the World War II had on his family. “Now, I’ve never shared this so publicly because it is a painful memory. But my father would come home drunk once or twice a week and he would scream and hit us and scare my mother,” Schwarzenegger said.
“I didn’t hold him totally responsible because our neighbor was doing the same thing to his family, and so was the next neighbour over.”
Schwarzenegger said that his experience growing up in post-war Europe has shown him “firsthand how things can spin out of control.” He then denounced Trump, saying that he “sought a coup by misleading people with lies.”
“My father and our neighbours were misled also with lies, and I know where such lies lead,” Schwarzenegger added. “President Trump is 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.”
Schwarzenegger, who’s a Republican, also blasted the elected officials who “enabled [Trump's] lies and treachery” and “the spinelessness in his own party”.
Arnold also likened America’s democracy to the sword he wielded in Conan the Barbarian. He said, “The more you temper a sword, the stronger it becomes. Our democracy has been tempered by wars, injustices and insurrections.
“I believe, as shaken as we are about the events of recent days, we will come out stronger because we now understand what can be lost.”
The video concluded with him encouraging for all Americans to stand behind President-elect Joe Biden.
“I ask you to join me in saying to President-elect Biden: ‘President-elect Biden, we wish you great success as our president. If you succeed, our nation succeed. We support you with all our hearts as you seek to bring us together.
‘And to those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this: You will never win. President-elect Biden, we stand with you today, tomorrow and forever in defense of our democracy from those who would threaten it.’
Watch the full video here:
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
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos