Donald Trump, bereft after a ban from many social media services following a coup attempt in Washington DC last week, has remained quiet this weekend as much of America counts down the days until he shamefully leaves office. But another prominent Republican and celebrity is speaking up about the damage that event has done to the country and what needs to happen moving forward.
Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a video to Twitter on Sunday that condemned the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters on Wednesday, an event that saw insurrection at the seat of American government and left five people dead. In a more than seven-minute long video, Schwarzenegger offered an important history lesson and perspective on the MAGA riot in Washington and the lessons we need to take from the violent uprising that could have been much, much worse.
Schwarzenegger, who grew up in Austria, compared Wednesday’s coup attempt to Kristallnacht, or The Night Of Broken Glass, a pogrom against Jews in Austria in the buildup to the second World War.
“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,B” he said. “But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideas we took for granted. 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.”
The former governor of California explained the fallout from that awful night in his home country and how it changed people in the years to come, including domestic violence he described in his own home. Though Schwarzenegger said he hopes the same march to violence and an end of democracy isn’t coming in America, he laid out why Americans “must be aware of the dire consequences of selfishness and cynicism” of what Trump and his true believers did.
“President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election, and of a fair election,” he said. “He sought a coup by misleading people with lies. My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies, and I know where such lies lead.”
Schwarzenegger called Trump “a failed leader” and assured that “he will go down in history as the worst president ever” but he also called out the “spinelessness” of Republican lawmakers who enabled Trump’s coup attempt by baselessly questioning the election results, even after the coup attempt where they were rushed from the Senate and House floors because of the attack.
“They’re complicit with those who carried the flag of self-righteous insurrection into the Capitol,” Schwarzenegger said, referring to the confederate battle flag that was carried into the building for what’s believed to be the first time in history on Wednesday.
It’s an important attempt at perspective about what happened in Washington, an event with fallout the country will have to endure for generations to come even in the best of circumstances. We’ve seen many lawmakers call out Trump and treasonous Republicans like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley in recent days, but few have been more recognizable to the American people, nor done it with this much depth and perspective.
Oh, he also broke out his Conan sword.