renaissance man or true barbarian?
delighted, deluded and plain deranged Jay Leno audience whooped
and cheered as Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his intention
to run for the California governorship. The body-building, acting,
philanthropic, womanising part-time barbarian and son of a Nazi,
will seek US political office for 'the children'.
of course unfair to bring up Arnie’s Nazi past, his father
Gustav Schwarzenegger was an Austrian policeman during the WWII
and would have had little choice but to be a good fascist. Arnie,
however, was born 2 years after Nazi Germany was routed and
still grew up with disturbingly far-right views.
who has actually had the stomach and the stamina to sit through
Schwarzenegger’s breakthrough 1977 documentary, Pumping
Iron, will know that this man is superhuman in his determination
and ambition but also utterly remorseless in his view of the
world. Schwarzenegger is driven to succeed to the detriment
of those people around him. During the filming he is reported
to have praised Hitler and although those alledged scenes may
have hit the cutting room floor, what does appear in the documentary
is a study of a man whose personal politics will not sit well
in democratic society.
womanising is tabloid-legend, his unsavory views on women less
well reported. His father’s Nazi past, again well reported,
Arnie’s continued friendship and support of Kurt Waldheim
a little to obscure to matter?
Waldheim, former secretary general of the UN
ran for the Austrian presidency in March 1986. Everything was
going well, he was ahead in the polls, he had a glittering UN
career behind him and Hollywood endorsement in the substantial
shape of Arnie. However during the campaign it broke that Waldheim
had played a leading role in Nazi atrocities during WWII and
was wanted as a war criminal. Waldheim had long maintained that
he served in the German army only briefly before being injured
and retired. In fact Waldheim served as an intelligence officer
in the German Army when it committed mass murders in the Kozara
region of Bosnia and received a commendation for his role in
is my duty to jump into the race and to bring to the people
in California (sic),' Schwarzenegger said as he broke the news
in an interview with fellow Republican and long time friend
Leno. 'People are sick and tired of politicians, therefore it's
important for me to run and to win, to go to Sacramento, to
odds of seizing power look good. He has already used his recent
publicity tour for T3 to air his gentler political views and
his internationally-renowned grasp of Spanish looks set to net
him a significant proportion of the Californian demographic
straight off the bat.
is worth noting that Schwarzenegger has publicly denounced Nazism,
has invested in Holocaust charities and made visits to Israel.
It could also be argued that Arnie’s support for Waldheim
shows his strength of character and his loyalty. You could even
argue that the Schwarzenegger who appeared in Pumping It was
full of youthful indiscretion and drive. On the other hand,
maybe you should be afraid, very afraid.
race for the Governor’s seat in California does
not look set to be typical by any means. Over 150 candidates
have put their name forward, we’ve tried to provide
you with a quick run down of the more interesting ones:
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Hollywood
superstar, ex-Mr Universe, Husband to a Kennedy. Will
stand as a Republican riding a Gary Cooper “clean
up this town” pony.
Coleman – 2ft 3inch child star of the sitcom
"Diff'rent Strokes” was set to taunt Gray Davis
out of office with his popular 80’s catchphrase
"Whatchu talkin' 'bout." However, Coleman has
already conceded that the Terminator’s catchphrase
is much better and he will actually be casting his vote
Buckles – Buckles has managed to rise above
much of the political infighting that has marred Californian
politics of late, largely due to the fact he is a chimpanzee.
Not favoured to win but expected to give Arnie a tough
run during candidate debates.
Flynt – Pornographer, cripple, and Casino
owner, Flynt is determined to have a good time, all of
“Chip” Mailander – retired
failed golf pro without any discernable policies.
Carey – Adult movie star Carey, is standing
for free love and available for three-ways. Innovations
include a plan to tax breast implants, a scheme guaranteed
to slash the Californian deficit and a “porn for
pistols” campaign to get firearms off the streets.