Many of us already considered Arnold Schwarzenegger to be among the worst governors in California history, if not the worst. Now we know that he is also one of the most despicable.
Schwarzenegger’s fundamental problem as governor is that nobody could ever trust him. Lacking any core principles, his mood and his style of governance seemed to change with the weather. One day he was a leftie environmentalist, the next a conservative born-again tax cutter. One day he is crusading to recruit jobs, the next he is driving jobs away with ill-considered policies. One day he promotes the Hummer, the next a hybrid. One day he says that the state must live within its means, the next day he is proposing an expansion of government. Negotiating with Schwarzenegger was like negotiating with a stick of butter in the hot sun. This is why he accomplished so little of substance – nobody could ever trust that they were dealing with someone who would stick to the deal for the long term.
Arnold Schwarzenegger utterly lacked principles except for one – Arnold comes first. And that is the sad story that has now been revealed with the sordid revelation that he fathered a child in an affair with a household staff member.
Regrettably, this still unfolding story is fundamentally symptomatic of the Arnold Schwarzenegger we have come to know as our governor these past seven years. It’s bad enough that he deceived his wife of 25 years, and his children. It’s worse that he may have conducted this affair in his own home, and under the nose of his trusting wife. Now allegations are surfacing of many other women who visited him late at night at his Santa Monica office. Regardless of the sordid details, however, the worst of it is what he has done to the child he fathered – with the apparent complicity of the child’s own mother.
For ten years this child has lived believing that his mother’s former husband was his father. Arnold was just fine with that. Reportedly, the child played with the Schwarzenegger kids, and frequented the family residence on many occasions. I can envision Maria welcoming the child into her home as she would any other son or daughter of a household staff member. Arnold was just fine with that, too.
Now this child’s life has been ripped apart. The man he or she thought was the father is not. The former Governor of California and once and hopes-to-be-again movie star is the father. The boy or girl has brothers and sisters, previously thought to be acquaintances. Everything the child accepted as being true about his or her life has been shown to be untrue. Where does the child go from here?
It’s reported that Arnold has provided financial support to the child since the beginning. I bet. Whatever the details of the financial arrangement, Arnold was apparently secure enough in the deal to launch a career in politics, his love child and mistress safely tucked away right under Maria’s nose. There is no small amount of irony that Arnold’s election as governor amid widespread accusations of womanizing was due to the steadfast testimony of Maria that he was a stand-up guy – a good husband and father. Imagine how foolish she must feel now.
But as brutally hard as this episode must be on Maria, the true tragedy is the impact on the child who has been devastatingly deceived about the essence of his or her life by the very people any child should be able to trust the most – his or her parents. The fact that Arnold was willing to subject this child to this devil’s deal of convenience to advance his own selfish, political desires is truly symptomatic of the kind of man he’s shown himself to be.
In the final months of his tenure of governor, we heard how Arnold was interested in burnishing his legacy, as any departing governor is wont to do. Well, he’s certainly accomplished that objective.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a despicable bum.