Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a Republican for about as long as he’s been an American. He even took over The Apprentice from the 45th president. But he and Trump had a falling out, in part because the actor-turned-pol became one of the too few GOP-ers who had enough of his crap. While many Republicans are struggling to figure out how to balance downplaying the pandemic with keeping their supporters from dying preventable deaths, the occasional Terminator is not mincing words: If you’re against masks, you’re a “schmuck” who doesn’t understand freedom.
Yesterday while I was talking with @AVindman and @biannagolodryga about Alex’s new book, I was asked about my comment about COVID misinformation that all of you are sharing. Here was my answer: pic.twitter.com/8LKhPIJ1Eu
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) August 11, 2021
In an interview on Tuesday with CNN’s Bianna Golodryga and former National Security Council staffer (and key Trump impeachment witness) Alexander Vindman Schwarzenegger railed against two things: COVID misinformation and anti-vaxxers who don’t seem to care that their actions could affect others.
“A year and a half later, we are still in a mess and there are still people living in denial,” Schwarzenegger said. “There are still people that don’t believe in masks, there are still people out there who say, ‘Well, we don’t have to do social distancing,‘ and all this kind of stuff.”
Schwarzenegger had had it with people who weren’t taking their health, or those of others they may impact, seriously:
“The only way we prevent it is we get vaccinated, we wear masks, we do social distancing, washing your hands all of the time, and not just to think about, ‘Well, my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.’ No, screw your freedom. Because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities.
He then pointed out that there are plenty of everyday rules you can’t opt out of just because you feel they infringe upon your rights to do whatever you want:
“You cannot just say, ‘I have the right to do x, y, and z,’ when you affect other people. That is when it gets serious. It’s like, no different than a traffic light. They put the traffic light in the intersection so someone doesn’t kill someone else by accident. You cannot say, ‘No one is going to tell me that I’m going to stop here, I’m going to go right through it.’ Yeah, then you kill someone else. It is the same thing with the virus. You cannot go and not put the mask on because when you breathe you can infect someone else, and you can infect someone that then gets sick and may die.”
But he tried to stay positive, preaching unity. “So this is why I think we all have to work together on this,” he said. “We have to come together rather than fighting and always just saying, ‘According to my principles this is a free country and I have the freedom to wear no mask.’ Yeah, you have the freedom to wear no mask, but you know something? You’re a schmuck for not wearing a mask.”
Of course, far right blogs, when they see a more traditional Republican saying “screw your freedom,” will probably take it out of context and use it to gin up outrage with their base — who, again, are all pointlessly risking their lives while ensuring a virus stays alive long enough to keep mutating, endangering us all. But that’s not the kind of freedom he’s talking about, and it’s not the kind that’s going to ensure that we all get through this.
You can watch the full chat below.
(Via Vanity Fair)