It is almost as head of state that Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke this Sunday following the events of the Capitol that accompanied the officialization of the election of Joe Biden on the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6. It is the serious air, the firm tone, with hard-hitting words chosen with care, and references to the great figures of the nation like John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt, that he addressed to the Americans but also to the world. All flanked by the star-spangled banner and the flag of California, a state of which he was the governor for two successive terms under the Republican label.
A coup attempt
The actor does not hesitate to speak of an attempted coup to qualify what happened in Washington. Stronger, he compares the Capitol invasion to the infamous Crystal Night in which the Nazis attacked Jews in 1938 in Germany. He begins by recalling that he was born in Austria in 1947, two years after the end of the Second World War, a country then in ruins after losing its democracy.
He evokes a painful past about which he had never spoken publicly. He talks about all these people broken by the guilt of having participated in the most terrible regimes in history. The actor remembers his father coming home drunk once or twice a week after drowning his war-related physical and mental suffering in alcohol, screaming and hitting his children, scaring his wife. As many scenes were also appropriate for the neighbor, the neighbor of the neighbor and so on.
Lies and intolerance
“It all started with lies and intolerance, says Arnold Schwarzenegger. Being from Europe, I was in the front row to see how things can get out of control. I know there is a fear in this country and around the world that what happened at the time could happen again here (in the United States, Editor’s note). I don’t believe that will happen, but I also believe in being aware of the dire consequences of selfishness and cynicism. ”
In his eyes, the events on Capitol Hill are the crystal night of the Americans, all orchestrated by the Proud Boys, the US equivalent of the German Nazis, he says. “The pack didn’t just smash the windows of the Capitol, they tried to shatter values that we take for granted. It did not just break down the doors of the building that houses our democracy, it trampled on the fundamental principles on which our country was built. ”
Trump as insignificant as an old tweet …
In his speech, he spares no one, starting with Donald Trump who sought to overturn the result of a regular election by deceiving people with lies. “President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president of all time. The good thing is that it will soon be as insignificant as an old tweet. ”
He is no more tender with the members of the state apparatus who allowed these lies and cheating, recalling, as Theodore Roosevelt said, that patriotism means standing up for your country and not for your president. . He also points an accusing finger at some members of his own party, the Republicans, who recklessly allowed this to happen. He considers them accomplices to have carried the flag of the insurrection in the Capitol while congratulating himself that democracy has held up.
He is convinced of it, after these dark days America will come together and shine again. He then grabs a heavy sword resting on his desk. “You see this sword, it’s Conan’s. The more you forge a sword, the stronger it becomes. […] Our democracy is like the iron of that sword, the more you forge it, the stronger it will become. ”
“Whatever your political side, I ask you to join me in telling President-elect Joe Biden to succeed as president. If he succeeds, our nation succeeds. […] As for those who think they can get around the constitution of the United States, know this: you will never do it. President Biden, we stand by your side today, tomorrow and forever to defend our democracy from those who threaten it ”, he concludes solemnly.