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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Son of a Nazi, Compared Trump Riots to Nazism

While brandishing the Conan sword, the former governor of California terminated Donald J. Trump.
IMAGE MICHAEL KOVAC/GETTY IMAGES
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Like Batman seeing the bat signal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, arrived to soothe a nation in distress this morning. In a theatrical seven minute video, Schwarzenegger offered up his perspective on the past week’s events, drawing on his own personal history to make a salient point about the country’s current crisis.

He compared Wednesday’s capitol riots to Kristallnacht—a 1938 Nazi attack on Jewish homes, businesses, and temples in which thousands were rounded up and thrown in concentration camps—and called Wednesday’s attack “the day of Broken Glass here in America.”

The former governor of California then drew parallels between the dark aftermath of World War II and the current moment in America. “I grew up in the ruins of a country that suffered the loss of its democracy,” the Austrian actor said. He described how many of the men that surrounded him, including his father, were burdened and driven to drinking and abuse by their guilt for participating in “the most evil regime in history.”

“It all started with lies and lies and lies and intolerance,” Schwazzanger recalled, before returning to the present moment. “President Trump sought to overturn the results of a fair election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies. My father and neighbors were misled also with lies. I know where such lies lead.”This is a stark reminder of the ways history can repeat itself if leaders ignore all the warning signs.

Luckily though—and here’s where things get weird—Schwarzenegger believes our democracy is like a sword. And not just any sword, but the legendary Sword of Conan. As the vaguely patriotic music swelled behind him, Schwarzenegger delivered an unexpected bit of hope while brandishing a giant, rusty sword: “Our democracy is like the steel of this sword. The more it is tempered, the stronger it becomes.”

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I, for one, feel better

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Abigail Covington
Abigail Covington is a journalist and cultural critic based in Brooklyn, New York but originally from North Carolina, whose work has appeared in Slate, The Nation, Oxford American, and Pitchfork.
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