October 8th, 2003

i'm ready for my close up mr demille

thoughts on Arnold

Location: Spiceland, Indiana

I have refrained from weighing in on the whole Schwarzenegger thing, but since he has been elected and due to the various things floating around, I thought I'd offer my two cents. I should add I'm hardly a politically active person with the exception of my voting power, nor much of an expert. But here are a few thoughts on the matter from this outsider and political novice.

1. The people have spoken:
Sure it wa largely an issue of the recall. More people voted to remove Davis than to necessarily put someone in particular in the governor's seat and ARnold happened to top the list in what was a very short, compact campaign. The fact remains that Californians got exaclty what they wanted, their governor recalled.

2. Allegations of sexual misconduct and ties to nazism
I find it amusing that the same Democrats who supported Clinton through his sexual misconduct became so vehemently worked up over Scharzenegger's shady past with women. I also find that all of the allegations were dredged up during a SEVEN week newspaper investigation a bit alarming. Not one of the women had ever filed a public charge. They claim they feared retribution. Now I understand the psychology of abuse, but why come forward now when it is more publicized, and much more is at stake? This is hardly good citizenship and smacks of witch-hunting. The whole prospect is dubious at best. Lots of people make mistakes and use poor judgment and, in the case of Hollywood, the opportunites for questionable behavior is much more prevalent and the lines are considerably more blurred than for the average person. I'm inclined to think these instances probably resulted in the course of randy hijinks where signals may have become crossed as to intention and consent.
Concerning the whole Nazi issue. This is propsterous. Schwarznegger has taken great strides to pay for the possible sins of his father. He shouldn't be held responsible for them. He has donated time and money to the Weisenthal Foundation and personally asked them to check into his father's ties in 1990, long before any serious political aspirations I'm sure.

3. Is Schwarzenegger really all that bad for California?
Sure he's a political novice, but he's a smart and driven man, certainly smarter than a good deal of politicians. His political idealogy, fiscal conservative and social liberal, is exactly what California needs for its highest office. Did you know that California has the 4th largest economy... in the world?
In the larger picture, he's good for the Republican party, which often has problems fielding candidates that aren't right-wing nut jobs. With the forth-coming presdential election, it does bother me that California, now along with Texas, Florida, and New York are all seated with Republican governors. Things look mighty bright for Dubya unfortunately. But the overwhelming support found by Schwarzenegger among moderates of both parties might be a harbinger of a new era in Republican politics. It would be welcome from where I sit, to see a party long fraught with questionable social policy to do a little soul searching and find a more reasonable approach to individual liberty rather than touting moral conviction.

4. Wait and see
Despite your opinions, the man was elected by popular vote to hold his office, now let him do his job. Whatever your opinions pre-election, the only fair thing to do now is to judge him on his record and not his past. I know it's hard to not crack jokes about someone who talks funny and has had such a high-profile life in the media, but the time has come to put all of that aside and give him the room to operate.