Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks on stage during the fifth “Austrian World Summit 2021” on current climate issues at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna on July 1, 2021. (Alex Halada – AFP / Getty Images)
By Tawsif Anam August 21, 2021 at 2:06pm
Freedom is the reason why America is the greatest country on earth. Freedom is perhaps the biggest reason why immigrants come to the United States.
And yet Arnold Schwarzenegger — a successful immigrant, high-profile Hollywood celebrity and former elected official — attacked freedom while pushing for masks and vaccines with regard to COVID-19.
As a freedom-loving immigrant and an American citizen, I found Schwarzenegger’s words to be condescending, hypocritical and hurtful.
Freedom is bestowed by God and was enshrined in the United States Constitution by America’s Founding Fathers. No issue — public health or otherwise — must prevent law-abiding Americans from making decisions about their own lives.
Freedom is the foundation of American society and cannot be hijacked by any government administration. Unfortunately, there is a growing effort by the Biden administration to push for mandates that violate people’s freedom.
President Joe Biden, completely disregarding individual freedom, mandated vaccines for all federal employees. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updates, including asking people to get vaccinated regardless of whether they have already had COVID-19, have propelled various private companies to require their employees to get the vaccine or lose their jobs.
Many school administrations are also using CDC’s guidelines to push for mask mandates, including in my home state of Wisconsin.
“The Terminator” star Arnold Schwarzenegger has jumped on the Biden bandwagon. During a recent interview regarding the coronavirus pandemic, Schwarzenegger pushed for masks and COVID-19 vaccines.
The multi-millionaire celebrity openly expressed his opposition to people who want to exercise their freedom to decide whether to wear masks or not. In a disparaging fashion, Schwarzenegger said, “Screw your freedom.” Furthermore, he insulted Americans when he said, “You’re a schmuck for not wearing a mask.”
Do you think Schwarzenegger’s comments were insulting?
I would request Schwarzenegger, my fellow immigrant, to forget for a few moments about the luxury of his Hollywood life and his fame as a former California governor and to understand the importance of freedom.
People from all over the world come to America as immigrants because they wish to live in a free society. Many immigrants flee authoritarian regimes, religious and political persecution, violation of human rights and other forms of hardship and torture, and arrive in the United States in search of freedom.
The free American society is the most desirable place to be in the world. It is estimated that out of all the potential migrants around the globe, one in five would like to be in the United States. That means 158 million foreign nationals would like to make the United States their home.
Freedom prevails in every aspect of American life: It is what allows human beings to nurture their God-given talents to live meaningful lives and pursue happiness, prevents government takeover of private property and guarantees a proper judicial system.
Most importantly, freedom prevents the establishment of dictatorship in American society. Therefore, we must preserve freedom and defeat any efforts that would limit it. Arnold Schwarzenegger, through his disdainful comments, has belittled people’s freedom.
Not only is it outrageous to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger’s insulting words about people who value their personal freedom; it is also shocking to see him ignore the very COVID-19-related measures that he believes people must follow. Recently, the former California governor was seen spending time with his friends without wearing a mask and with no social distancing.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is not the only one to ignore one’s own message.
Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom violated his own COVID-19 restrictions when he attended a friend’s birthday party at a lavish restaurant. Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, D.C., was seen without a mask at an indoor wedding reception, in violation of her own indoor mask mandate. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has also been accused of hypocrisy for visiting a salon in San Francisco to get her hair done when such establishments were shut down due to government orders.
The American people are tired of such a double standard.
Many people lost their lives in the fight for freedom. Men and women of the armed forces, among whom there are many immigrants, defend our freedom so that we can continue with our way of life.
Arnold Schwarzenegger — an immigrant, a successful celebrity with many fans and followers and a political figure who was voted into the office of the governor in the state of California — could have been an ambassador for freedom and liberty.
In spite of rising to the peaks of fame and fortune in the United States, his recent comments show that he has failed to understand the value of freedom in America.
His arrogant tone and comments have hurt the sentiments of many Americans, including myself.
In the United States, we must never allow a one-size-fits-all policy of masks and vaccines to violate individual freedom.
Freedom is the ability to wear a mask or not wear one. Freedom allows people to gather knowledge about any medical treatment or vaccine and make an informed decision that represents one’s best interest. People who wish to exercise their God-given freedom and make their own health care decisions are not “schmucks.”
No matter what celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger say, law-abiding Americans will exercise their constitutional rights and live life according to their own terms. The government cannot terminate our freedom.
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