By Rosy Cordero
January 10, 2021 at 03:37 PM EST
Advertisement
Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage; Oliver Contreras/SIPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arnold Schwarzenegger denounced "failed leader" Donald Trump and his role in encouraging the Capitol riots this week while asking for unity in the days ahead.

The former Governor of California released a video message on Sunday comparing the events of Jan. 6, when Trump's far-right supporters stormed the Capitol, to Kristallnacht, or "The Night of Broken Glass," in 1938 during which the Nazis began their ascent into power that would end with approximately six million Jews dead.

Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria two years after the end of World War II, compared the Proud Boys, an all-male organization consisting of far-right Trump supporters who actively engage in political violence, to the Nazis and accused them of "trampling the very principles on which our country was founded."

"Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history," he said in the video. "Not all of them were evil anti-semites or Nazis. Many just went along step-by-step down the road. They were the people next door."

He painfully recalls what remained of men like his father after the war, who would come home drunk to lash out against their families, both verbally and physically, because of what they had witnessed and/or participated in during Hitler's reign. Though he doesn't believe the United States will end in such melee, the action star warns Trump's actions should not be downplayed.

"President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election and of a fair election," Schwarzenegger, who is Republican, continued. "He sought a coup by misleading people with lies. My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies, and I know where such lies lead. President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is he will soon be as irrelevant as an old Tweet."

Following the insurrection Trump and his allies have unleashed on the United States, Schwarzenegger calls for accountability of everyone involved and those who continue to push for more violent disruptions.

"But what are we to make of those elected officials who have enabled his lies and his treachery?" he asks. "I will remind them of what Teddy Roosevelt said, 'Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.'"

He adds, "We need to look past ourselves, our parties, and disagreements and put our democracy first. And we need to heal, together, from the drama of what's just happened. We need to heal, not just as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans."

Amid threats of further disruptions, Schwarzenegger celebrated President-elect Joe Biden, who is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Related content:

Comments