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Arnold Schwarzenegger gives passionate speech on democracy, whips out sword for good measure

Wielding his Conan the Barbarian sword, Arnold Schwarzenegger responded to the siege of the U.S. Capitol with condemnation… and BDE.

In a passionate video, ex-Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has denounced the U.S. Capitol riots, comparing the event to Germany’s Kristallnacht.

The actor draws poignant comparisons between Nazi Germany and Trump’s America, warning of the threats against democracy that exist under the current political system. What does he do to make his point cut even deeper? Old mate whips out a sword.

u.s.capitol
Photo: CNN

Having participated in U.S. politics for almost two decades, Schwarzenegger’s video discusses his life in post-WW2 Austria, pulling stark comparisons of the siege on the U.S. Capitol to Kristallnacht: a violent riot against Jewish people that was carried out in 1938.

“I grew up in Austria and was very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass,” Schwarzenegger tells viewers. “It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out [by] the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys [a quasi-fascist group of Trump supporters].”

“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. It has shattered the ideals 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.” 

In the video, Schwarzenegger draws his iconic prop from the 1983 film Conan the Barbarian. He goes on to describe the tempering of the sword, through fire, water, and brute force, as a metaphor for the state of the U.S. democracy, saying that just like the crafting of the sword, the suffering of American democracy will allow it to gather more strength.

Despite the cinematic overture – perhaps an overflow from his past as a Hollywood actor –  Schwarzenegger’s condemnation of the violent attacks is rooted in his wishes for both the nation’s and “[Joe Biden’s] success.”