Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former actor and two-term governor of California, offers perhaps the starkest portrait of Wednesday’s coup attempt from a leading Republican voice in the United States.
In a recording published on YouTube, Schwarzenegger offers his thoughts on the Capitol riot and reflects on life growing up in Austria shortly after the fall of the Nazi regime.
As an immigrant of this country, I would like to say a few words to my fellow Americans and to our friends around the world about the events of recent days.
I grew up in Austria. I’m very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. It was 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. 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.
I grew up in the ruins of a country that suffered the loss of its democracy. I was born in 1947, two years after the Second World War. Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history.
Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis. Many of them just went along step-by-step down the road. They were the people next door.
Schwarzenegger goes on to call Trump a “failed president” who will “go down in history as the worst president ever.” He is just as unsparing of other members of his own party – particularly Congressional Republicans – who he called “spineless” and “complicit.”
You can watch Schwarzenegger’s full comments below: