I assume some of you saw it over the weekend, but if not, I encourage you to take 7 minutes to watch former (not very good) actor, and former (not so bad) governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger offer himself as a (self-appointed, but very good) voice of reason after the tragic and democracy-in-America-threatening events of the last few days.
Schwarzenegger’s video, distributed via Twitter, was rooted, at least at the beginning, in his childhood in Austria in the aftermath of World War II.
Austria, you may recall, was the first nation absorbed by Germany when Hitler decided he needed more “lebensraum” — living-space – justifying the conquest of much of Europe. It was also the land of Schwarzenegger’s birth and childhood in the post-World War II years and his rise to fame as a bodybuilder, weightlifter, then movie star, before going into politics in his adopted second homeland, California, where he served two terms as governor.
Still speaking with a strong German accent, and looking craggier than you remember him, Schwarzenegger draws some parallels between the torment his homeland suffered just before his birth (in 1947) and the American experience of the Trump years, starting with the lies of Hitler and moving on to the lies of Donald Trump.
“I know where such lies lead,” says Schwarzenegger, predicting that Trump will be remembered as a “failed president” who “will go down in history as the worst president ever.” He goes on to predict that America will come back stronger than ever, and he even shows a sword from his role as “Conan, the Barbarian” as part of an extended metaphor for how things (swords and countries) get stronger the more they are tested (as long as they survive the tests).
I have a little trouble believing that I’m touting Schwarzenegger as a source of wisdom and a predictor of a brighter future for our poor ol’ nation. But the talk runs 7 minutes and 39 seconds and, when it ended, having taken the weekend off, I thought I would pass it along as a Monday pick-me-up.