Greetings, comrades! It is I, your El Presidente, reporting to you live from Jeff Bezos's mansion. I wanted to stop by and thank him for banning Parler, to return a pair of defective slippers I bought on Amazon, and also, sometimes I just like to rub his head for good luck. Haw haw haw haw! But I am here today to talk about something more important, coming from the mouth of former California governor Arnold Swarzenegger.
What is best in life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women? That stuff is, admittedly, pretty good. But it's not quite as good as watching Donald Trump's "Hitler in the bunker" downfall play out live on television. And personally, my friends, I am hoping for the same ending. But after Trump is out of office, what next? Arnold Schwarzenegger took to Twitter to answer that very question, posting a video message addressing America with wisdom gleaned from his childhood in Austria under the shadow of the fallout of World War 2.
"As an immigrant to this country, I would like to say a few words to my fellow Americans and to our friends around the world about the events of recent days," said Schwarzenegger in the message. "I grew up in Austria. I'm very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys. 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. They shattered the ideas 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."
Schwarzenegger went on to describe his childhood, saying, "I grew up in the ruins of a country that suffered the loss of its democracy. I was born in 1947, two years after the second World War. Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away the guild over their participation in the most evil regime in history. Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis. Many just went along step-by-step down the road. They were the people next door."
"Now, I've never shared this so publicly because it is a painful memory," Schwarzenegger continued. "But my father would come home drunk, once or twice a week, and he would scream and hit us and scare my mother. I didn't hold him totally responsible because our neighbor was doing the same thing to his family and so was the next neighbor over. I heard it with my own ears and saw it with my own eyes. They were in physical pain from the shrapnel in their bodies and in emotional pain from what they saw or did. It all started with lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance."
"I've seen firsthand how things can spin out of control," the Governator continued. "I know there is a fear in this country and all over the world that something like this could happen right here. Now, I do not believe it is, but I do believe that we must be aware of the dire consequences of selfishness and cynicism. President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election and of a fair election. He sought the 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," Schwarzenegger said. "He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is that he soon will be as irrelevant as an old tweet. But what are we to make of those elected officials who have enabled his lies and his treachery? I would remind them of what Teddy Roosevelt said: "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president."
Schwarzenegger went on to talk more about his childhood and reveal that friends around the world have called to express sadness about Trump's attack on the Capitol. But he says that America will bounce back.
"Now you see this sword?" said Schwarzenegger, holding up the sword from the Conan the Barbarian movie, which he apparently keeps under his desk. "This is the Conan's sword. Now here's the thing about swords. The more you temper a sword, the stronger it becomes. The more you pound it with a hammer and then heat it in the fire and then thrust it into the cold water and then pound it again and plunge it into the fire and into the water, the more often you do that, the stronger it becomes."
Yes, El Presidente understands. You pound the sword, and then you thrust it, and pound it some more, and pound and thrust and pound and thrust, and it is hot in the fire, but you keep pounding, keep thrusting, thrust and pound and pound and pound and thrust and pound. Yes. Thrust and pound, pound and thrust. Right.
"I'm not telling you all this because I want you to become an expert swordmaker, but our democracy is like the steel of this sword," he said. "The more it is tempered, the stronger it becomes. Our democracy has been tempered by wars, injustices, and insurrections. I believe, as shaken as we are by the events of recent days, we will come out stronger because we now understand what can be lost. We need reforms, of course, so that this never, ever happens again. We need to hold accountable the people that brought us to this unforgivable point. And we need to look past ourselves, our partizan disagreements, and put our democracy first. And we need to heal together from the trauma of what has just happened. We need to heal, not as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Americans."
Schwarzenegger then asked for everyone watching to join him in wishing President-elect Biden good luck in running the country. Will Arnold's message make any difference? One way or another, we will soon find out. Until next time, comrades.