"We need to heal, together, from the drama of what's just happened," said Schwarzenegger. "We need to heal, not just as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Americans."
Seeing the harrowing pictures and video clips of extreme right-wing supporters attacking the US Capitol reminded actor and former California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger of a dark time in his life. The Republican couldn't help but think of his childhood days in Austria when the country was reeling from the aftermath of World War II.
The former California Governor compared the attack on the Capitol building to the rise of the Nazi regime, and blamed Trump as well his members of the Republican Party for being "complicit" in the attack.
"President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election. And of a fair election," said Schwarzenegger, as quoted by Business Insider. "He sought a coup by misleading people with lies."
As he spoke about the attack, Schwarzenegger compared it to the violence seen on the Night of Broken Glass, which is the horrific night in Holocaust history from 1938, where Jewish neighborhoods in Germany were stormed through and destroyed by Nazi supporters.
"Wednesday was the day of broken glass right here in the United States," Schwarzenegger said in the video, as quoted by NPR. "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 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."
Schwarzenegger went on to speak about how, as a child, he saw the people around him being affected by the Nazi regime even after the second world war came to an end. He could even see the effects of it on his father, who was also a member of the Nazi party. But Schwarzenegger only discovered this decades later.
"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..."
The actor believes that it was guilt over being accomplices to one of the cruelest regimes in history that drove people, like his father, to act this way.
"My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies and I know where such lies lead," added the actor, who is a member of the Republican Party. "President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever."
"Our democracy has been tempered by wars, injustices, and insurrections," he later said. "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 parties, and disagreements, and put our democracy first."
My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world following this week's attack on the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/blOy35LWJ5— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 10, 2021
With a new administration led by Joe Biden replacing the highly criticized Trump administration, Schwarzenegger added that the way for each American to heal, irrespective of their political leanings, was by welcoming the change. "We need to heal, together, from the drama of what's just happened," said Schwarzenegger. "We need to heal, not just as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Americans. Now to begin this process, no matter what your political affiliation is, I ask you to join me in saying to President-elect Biden, 'President-elect Biden, we wish you great success as our President. If you succeed, our nation succeeds.'"