Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger has condemned the attack on the Capitol in the US and described Donald Trump as the worst president ever.
The former Governor of California also compared the mob that attacked the US Capitol to the Nazis. In a seven-minute video, which was posted on Schwarzenegger’s Twitter account late on Sunday, the actor compared the events to 1938’s Kristallnacht.
“As an immigrant to this country, I would like to say a few words to my fellow Americans, and to our friends around the world about the events of recent days. I grew up in Austria,” Arnold Schwarzenegger began.
“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. 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,” Arnold Schwarzenegger added.
The actor 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. I grew up in the ruins of a country that suffered the loss of its democracy.
“I was born in 1947, two years after the Second World War. Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history. Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis, many just went along, step-by-step, down the road. They were the people next-door,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“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 neighbor over. I heard it with my ears and saw it with my own eyes,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said.
He recalled how his father and neighbours had been left troubled by their memories of a war.
Schwarzenegger said: “It all started with lies, and lies, and lies and intolerance. Being from Europe I have seen firsthand how things can spin out of control. I know there is a fear in this country and all over the world that something like this could happen right here. Now, I do not believe it is, but I do believe that we must be aware of the dire consequences of selfishness and cynicism.
“President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election and of a fair election. “He sought a coup by misleading people with lies. My father and our neighbours were also misled with lies, and I know where such lies lead.
“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,” he said of the president.
He continued: “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’. A number of members of my own party, because of their own spinelessness will never see their names in such a book, I guarantee you.
“They’re complicit with this who carried the flag of self-righteous insurrection into the Capitol. But it did not work. Our democracy held firm,” he added.
The actor feels it is healing time now.
“We need to heal, together, from the drama of what has just happened. We need to heal, not as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Americans,” Schwarzenegger said, adding: “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.”
He ended the video by wishing President-elect Joe Biden well.
“President-elect Biden, we stand with you today, tomorrow and forever in defence of our democracy from those who would threaten it,” Schwarzenegger said.