Of the politicians who have spoken out about Donald Trump’s heinous Tuesday press conference, it’s fair to say that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-born bodybuilder turned California governor has more experience with actual Nazis than most.
In a video for ATTN, he tells Trump that there are not two sides to bigotry, and suggests Trump explicitly denounce the support of white supremacists. He even has a Trump bobble-head figure to play with.
Schwarzenegger goes on to a message for the men and women who rallied around the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville and killed Heather Heyer the following day (set to very graphic images of WWII historical footage, if you’re watching the video):
“I have a message to the neo-Nazis, to the white nationalists, and to the neo-Confederates: Your heroes are losers. You are supporting a lost cause. And believe me, I knew the original Nazis, because you see, I was born in Austria in 1947, shortly after the Second World War. And growing up, I was surrounded by broken men, men who came home from a war filled with shrapnel and guilt, men who were misled into a losing ideology. And I can tell you: that these ghosts you idolize spent the rest of their lives living in shame and right now, they’re resting in hell.”
Though the message is welcome and well-delivered by someone who made his living onscreen for the majority of his life, let’s remember that Schwarzenegger is a conservative Republican who vetoed bills that would have legalized gay marriage multiple times during his tenure in office. He also wrote an entire op-ed in 2006 about how Mexican immigrants should learn to speak English so their demands for equality would be heard. Actions speak louder than words, but at least these words strike the right tone.