Today, Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke personally as he decried Donald Trump and the Capitol Riots of earlier this week.
In a Twitter message, Schwarzenegger, 73, recalled his difficult childhood in postwar Austria amid the remnants of Nazism and the destruction of World War II. He drew parallels between the Nazis—specifically Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass)—and the Capitol Riots and groups such as the Proud Boys. The speech was a warning, as the former governor of California defended democracy and called for unity ahead of Joe Biden's presidency.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's speaks on Capitol Riots, Nazis, Trump
Schwarzenegger's message opened candidly, as he reflected on his childhood and his father, who was a Nazi soldier during WWII. He spoke on being born in Austria in 1947, two years after the war, and witnessing the aftereffects of Nazi crimes like Kristallnacht—which he called "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," he said. "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.
"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 nearly eight-minute speech is included below.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's message on the Capitol Riots
In his speech's concluding section, Schwarzenegger said: "We need reforms, of course, so that this never ever happens again. We need to hold accountable the people that brought us to this unforgivable point. And we need to look past ourselves, our parties, and disagreements, and put our democracy first."
"To those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this: You will never win," he added. Schwarzenegger is among the many celebrity figures to condemn the Capitol Riots, with others such as Selena Gomez targeting the social media platforms that allowed President Trump and others to spread hate and incite violence of the type that erupted at the Capitol on Jan. 6.