The reviews are in, and they're mostly glowing.
-Thank you sir for your words of strength! God bless you and your family.
- I wish Arnold Schwarzenegger’s eloquent & poignant words were played on the floor of the House & Senate. He spoke from experience about the dangers of tolerating creeping totalitarianism
-Arnold Schwarzenegger understands what happened and why. As he says, "It all started with lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance." This is the world we live in - & it can lead to fascism. LGB Alliance supports free speech & tolerance. Thank you
-Arnold@Schwarzenegger such a honest, humble amazing human being for showing that we as humans CAN become better the harder we try, wise words from a great guy! After biden becomes president of USA Arnold should be next!
-My God what a patriotic and an emotional message by @Schwarzenegger. I must confess I was moved to tears at the later part of the video where he said "those who seek to overturn our constitution will never win". What a message. This should be an eye opener and a lesson to those
-Wow what a profound and powerful message it even brought me to tears it was soo moving thank you Arnold.
There are more where these came from; much more. The most accurate was "Arnold Schwarzenegger captures this moment in American history with perfection is his oration."
Well, he was an actor, a very popular one; a politician also, and oration is his bag. It took Californians a few years to catch up with the empty suit with the great accent, artfully honed after 52 years of residence in the USA. Beginning at 2:26 of the video below, the California Republican correctly noted "President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election and of a fair and safe election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies and "is a failed leader who will go down in history as the worst president ever." He continued
But what are we to make of those elected officials who have enabled his lies and treachery? I will remind them of what Teddy Roosevelt said, "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not man to stand by the president."
"Members of my own party," he added "are complicit with those who carried the flag of self righteous insurrection."
"Right on the money," as one of the tweets had it. Unfortunately, the former governor had led with
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 198 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.
One tweeter remarked "Arnold Schwarzenegger comparing the storming of Capitol Hill to Kristallnacht is my fave moment of the year." It shouldn't be, unless one is a fan of false equivalences and trivialization of historical events.
Michael Berenbaum recalls
Just before midnight on November 9, Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller sent a telegram to all police units informing them that “in shortest order, actions against Jews and especially their synagogues will take place in all of Germany. These are not to be interfered with.” Rather, the police were to arrest the victims. Fire companies stood by synagogues in flames with explicit instructions to let the buildings burn. They were to intervene only if a fire threatened adjacent “Aryan” properties.
In two days and nights, more than 1,000 synagogues were burned or otherwise damaged. Rioters ransacked and looted about 7,500 Jewish businesses, killed at least 91 Jews, and vandalized Jewish hospitals, homes, schools, and cemeteries. The attackers were often neighbours. Some 30,000 Jewish males aged 16 to 60 were arrested. To accommodate so many new prisoners, the concentration camps at Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen were expanded.
After the pogrom ended, it was given an oddly poetic name: Kristallnacht—meaning “crystal night” or “night of broken glass.” This name symbolized the final shattering of Jewish existence in Germany. After Kristallnacht, the Nazi regime made Jewish survival in Germany impossible.
Well over 7,000 businesses were damaged or destroyed, 91+ people killed, and 30,000 people arrested- all in a major action to eliminate people of one religion or, as the Nazis twisted it, race. Fortunately, President Trump's government last Wednesday did not order an invasion of Hamtramck and Dearborn, Michigan, destroy every business they could, kill over 90 people and arrest 30,000 people.
By invoking Kristallnacht to condemn what took place last Wednesday, Arnold Schwarzenegger sadly opened the door to mass trivialization of the Holocaust. Last night, former Iowa Congressman Steve King called the current deplatforming of MAGA rioters "cyber god's Kristallnacht." https://t.co/FEZ7dQdcU2— MF JEWM (@JewishWorker) January 11, 2021
Schwarzenegger makes a classic mistake, one which has been made for a few years now and will become more prominent in the coming years. You can catch it in the words of Never Trump Republicans but more glaringly from Joe Scarborough and others in the media, those who want us to believe that it all began with Donald Trump.
The GOP, the myth goes, was on a right and righteous path (synonymous to some of them) before candidate/President Trump came and perverted it. It's as if the anti government, hyper-chauvinistic and bigoted ethos began with the billionaire from New York City and not long ago. Many of these Republicans- and naive members of the media- continue to revere two-term president Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6), who poured the gasoline on the ground being set ablaze today.
Trump has made it much worse, of course, an aberration in the country and its government. Nonetheless, the ground for him was seeded and fertilized over four decades ago, history that is forgotten or ignored at our peril.
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