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Arnold Schwarzenegger Uses Conan's Sword To Condemn Capitol Attacks

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a video posted to his Twitter, showed off his Conan the Barbarian sword in response to the recent events at the U.S. Capitol. When congress convened on Wednesday, January 6 to certify the electoral college results, Trump supporters arrived en masse to oppose the certification. Things quickly turned violent when they stormed the Capitol building in what many are calling an attempted coup. The political world has been upended by these events and Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has responded.

Schwarzenegger, a former action star turned governor of California, waded into politics in earnest in the late-90s. He was elected governor of California in 2003 and served as governor until 2011. Prior to his political career, Schwarzenegger was known for his action stardom. One of his most recognizable roles is in 1983 film Conan the Barbarian where he plays the titular character who seeks vengeance for his parents' death at the hands of a mysterious cult leader, played by James Earl Jones. Plans for a revival with Schwarzenegger never came to fruition, but there is still talk of a television show happening.

One of Conan's main weapons is his iconic sword and Schwarzenegger evokes that in his video on Twitter in which he responds to the events at the Capitol. Schwarzenegger says of the sword that, the more it is tempered, the more strength it gathers. The former governor compares the sword to American democracy, saying that, like the sword, the more it is beaten, the stronger it becomes.


Conan's sword is an important part of the character's repertoire. In the film's climax, Conan uses his father's broken sword to behead his final enemy. Schwarzenegger's comparison of Conan's sword to American democracy is a nice little callback for any fan of Conan the Barbarian, but it ultimately fails to resonate. Conan's sword, while used for justice for Conan's parents, is a tool of violence. Schwarzenegger's metaphor disregards that.

The response to what happened at the Capitol on Wednesday has been varied. Celebrities began speaking out about it rather quickly, rightfully condemning the horrifying acts. Schwarzenegger may have more insight than many for he has been an active politician for nearly the past two decades. Still, the unprecedented terrorist attack on the Capitol can not be boiled down into mere metaphor and, unfortunately, Conan the Barbarian would've been unable to stop it anyway.

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