On Sunday January 10th, Terminator actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a powerful video on Twitter. He denounced the violent mob that overtook the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday 6th. Recounting his childhood in Austria after World War II, he linked the Capitol attack to Nazi Germany.
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
The “Proud Boys” equivalent of Nazis
In this seven-minute video, Arnold Schwarzenegger, compares the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol with Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass”, the attack on Jewish people that destroyed thousands of businesses, homes, and synagogues in Nazi Germany in November 1938 and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. The "Night of Broken Glass" was a violent turning point in the early days of Nazi Germany which would escalate to the murder of 6 million people in the Holocaust.
"It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys," said Schwarzenegger in his video. "Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass here in the United States. The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol."
His video has more than 37,3 million views and over 1.2 million likes.
… as irrelevant as an old tweet…
Schwarzenegger was a Republican governor of California from 2003 to 2011, but has long been critical of President Donald Trump. In the video, he tells us that "President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever… The good thing is that he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet."
Schwarzenegger also opens up about his childhood in Austria where he was born two years after the end of World War II.
He shares memories of his father, Gustav, a member of Austria's military police, getting drunk and then coming home and screaming at and hitting his family. The abuse in his family was not unusual, he added. The other fathers in the neighborhood did the same, the actor said, calling them "broken men drinking away their guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history."
"They were the people next door."
"I did not hold him totally responsible because our neighbor was doing the same thing to his family," said Schwarzenegger, calling the experience a "painful memory."
"Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis. Many just went along, step by step, down the road," he said. "They were the people next door."
He compared the rise of Nazi Germany to the attempted coup this week and blamed President Donald Trump, noting that in both eras, leaders' lies instigated violence.
"It all started with lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance," Schwarzenegger said. "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 neighbors were also misled by lies, and I know where such lies lead."
At one point in the video, Schwarzenegger pulls out the sword from when he played Conan the Barbarian in the 1982 film, using it as an example of how democracy, like a tempered sword, becomes stronger under pressure. "To those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this," Schwarzenegger said. "You will never win."
Schwarzenegger is not the only Republican personality who doesn’t support the president anymore.
Impeachment for "incitement of insurrection"
The American Constitution states that a president can be impeached and removed from office for a number of reasons, including "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
On Wednesday January 13th, the US House of Representatives impeached President Trump, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the violence at the Capitol.
Ten Republican members of the House broke with their party and joined Democrats in approving the single article of impeachment. Trump will leave power as the first president in the nation’s 245-year history to be impeached twice. The vote to impeach Trump was 232 to 197.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will decide when to transmit the article to the Senate which will get the final word and where Trump could face a trial, which is likely to come after he's left office. If Trump is convicted in the Senate, he could be barred from ever seeking elected federal office again.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said that the trial would begin after the Senate reconvenes on Tuesday, the day before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
At least 67 of the 100 senators are needed for conviction. Democrats will need at least 17 Republican senators to break ranks to convict Trump.
* I'll be back