I really never paid much attention to Schwarzenegger’s time as governor of California, but because I was in living in Wisconsin during part of former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura’s time as governor of Minnesota, I guess I expected bluster and bravado.
Yes, waving the Conan sword certainly provided manly spectacle for the groundlings, but the sword was an opportunity to introduce a metaphor — he put it down with a nice audible clump and carried on with his message; he talked about the fantasy sword as a symbol, not about using it to strike down his enemies.
His audience includes people who like action films, so the music and flag-waving iconography are on brand. I could have done without the music — I felt a bit manipulated. Still, I was impressed by Schwarzenegger sharing a painful story from his youth, and his reference to his Catholic upbringing and the value of selfless service.
This was so much better than any video the Trump White House produced. I wish I had watched this a few days ago.
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