As Donald Trump cements his place in history and infamy, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger who posted a video on social media, which most clearly condemned Trump as a ‘failed leader’ and held him and his rhetoric responsible for inflaming those who broke into the Senate and caused such extreme damage.
In his video, Schwarzenegger went on to compare the riot on Capitol Hill to “Kristallnacht” (The night of broken glass), when in 1938 broken glass littered the streets of Nazi Germany after the windows of Jewish owned stores, buildings and synagogues were smashed by paramilitary troops and civilians alike. The rioters that night destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. Over 1,400 synagogues and prayer rooms, many Jewish cemeteries, more than 7,000 Jewish shops, and 29 department stores were damaged, and in many cases destroyed. The event is often referred to as the beginning of the Holocaust.
“The mob did not just shatter glass, they shattered the ideas we took for granted. They did not just break down the doors of the building that houses American democracy, they trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.”
Schwarzenegger was born in Austria in 1947, two years after the end of the war, and revealed how “broken men” struggled to deal with the “guilt of their participation in the most evil regime in history”. He said the Nazi regime in Germany “all started with lies, and lies, and lies and intolerance” – adding that he had seen first-hand how “things can spiral out of control”. Five people died as a result of the riot that Wednesday, including a Capitol Hill police officer.
Trump has continually stoked the flames of hate and resentment with his rhetoric and lies and has now secured a legacy in which an angry mob broke into and caused destruction and death through their actions. There will need to be more investigation and attribution into the roles of “those who were complicit with those who carried the flag of self-righteous insurrection into the capital” and just how close the rioters and their cheer leader Trump came to causing even more profound damage.
Whatever happens, whatever tower of lies he tries to build, Trump’s legacy is now surrounded by broken glass and not only is he the president who encouraged a mob to attack the seat of American democracy, he is a loser.
Ed: You can watch Arnie’s video in full here. It’s well worth it!