People wonder how and why high-profile politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger use such bad judgment in their personal lives. “They have so much to lose; why do they risk it?”
To me, it’s obvious why men such as Schwarzenegger, or any career politician, use such bad judgment. Think about what a politician is. A politician is someone who gets to spend other people’s money, with no consequences. Billions and billions of dollars of honestly earned money are transferred into
the hands of a politician to do with whatever he deems fitting. He hasn’t earned the money, and if anything a politician is less qualified than anyone on earth to spend it.
Contrast this with a common criminal. A common criminal has to engage in risk for his plunder, while a politician is not only legally permitted to plunder other people, but is celebrated for it. There’s nothing whatsoever admirable about a common criminal. But only a politician could make a criminal seem oddly admirable, in contrast.
Imagine what it does to the mind and character of someone to live the life of a powerful politician. For nearly eight years, Schwarzenegger presided over one of the largest economies in the entire world, that of California. Billions of dollars were at his disposal and he was told, quite literally, that he could do just about anything with it that he wanted. True, he had to answer to a state legislature. But as an individual man he had as much (if not more) power than all the dozens of men and women in that legislature combined.
Everyone is different, and it’s not possible to get into Schwarzenegger ‘s mind and know, with certainty, everything he thought and felt. But you can be sure of one thing: That he was given access to the wealth and creative effort of others, others far better than himself. Yes, I recognize that Schwarzenegger, unlike many politicians (such as Barack Obama) actually accomplished something in his life prior to becoming a professional looter and redistributer of money that wasn’t his own. But Schwarzenegger would never have wanted the job if he was on a level with his betters, with fellow accomplishers who have no desire for the unearned.
While most politicians are do-nothings who would never accomplish anything in a free society where politicians were not given this kind of power, a few of them — Schwarzenegger included — were accomplishers who actually did achieve something. But obviously something goes deeply wrong in their thinking to ever assume they have the right to prevent others from enjoying the full freedom from which they themselves benefited.
Schwarzenegger clearly had no understanding of what created his success. If he had, he would have come to office to limit the power of government, not to expand it as he ultimately did. Worse than that, he was a total fraud. He built a side-career in the years leading up to his political career claiming to be an advocate of capitalism, free markets and individual rights. What did he do once in office? Further wreck the free market in California, and bankrupt the state government in the process. Perhaps the lowest point came when he claimed that the federal government was responsible for bailing out the bankruptcy brought about by his own socialist policies in California, policies he once claimed to oppose.
Schwarzenegger was an immigrant, and claimed to love America because it allowed him the freedom to be all he could be. What did he do with that freedom, ultimately? Turn into just another Big Government, corrupt career politician who pushed America further towards the type of society it was never supposed to be.
Given the fraud that is Schwarzenegger ‘s career as a politician, and given the nature of politics itself, it’s not hard to imagine him perpetrating a fraud against his wife, family or others. Of course he would do such a thing. The man that he apparently was, in private, is absolutely the same as the man we already knew him to be, in public.
Many of the reports state that the woman with whom Schwarzenegger had the affair and secret family is of “unflattering” character. Much is made of the implication that the ex-governor was somehow a victim of … what, exactly, is not clear. The victim of this woman? But what does it say about him that he was even tempted to engage in an affair with such a person, if she’s the moral equivalent of trash that reports claim her to be? Could it be that Schwarzenegger is himself no better, and somehow knows it? One’s sexual and romantic responses tend to mirror the level of self-esteem and character the person having the response himself possesses.
Maybe, at least on the deeper emotional level, Schwarzenegger understood this better than those who will, in months to come, try to portray him as some sort of odd victim of himself. Or, better yet: Maybe those who need to excuse the trashy are trying to excuse what they fear is the worst in themselves.
Arnold was no giant, in body or spirit. Only principled men are giants. If Arnold Schwarzenegger ever had any principles, he betrayed them all.