When adults have what is known as a “mid-life crisis,” some might compensate for the panic by purchasing expensive cars, wardrobes and the like in an attempt to recapture their youth. But Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former Mr. Universe, bypassed the cars and went after the entire state of California. In doing so, he set the stage for what has been possibly one of the most memorable gubernatorial races in American history. Regardless of a series of recent scandals and old quotes, the former action-star doesn’t seemed to be fazed by the bad press, and neither do his standings. No, an older actor running for the position of state governor does not automatically induce a “mid-life crisis.” But it does, however, cause one to question what exactly is to become of the voting system if we avert our eyes when such a public figure so blatantly slips up.
From admitting to admiring Hitler to not really remembering if he groped his female co-workers or not, Schwarzenegger has not exactly been the poster boy for family and moral values like his fellow Republicans. Many members of Schwarzenegger’s campaign have literally been compared to “scriptwriters” by numerous column writers because of his tendency to, frankly, not think before he speaks. For instance when he said that he wished to get rid of California’s branch of the Environmental Protection Agency, Schwarzenegger’s handlers were quick to recall the statement, because he obviously forgot that the founder of the agency also happened to be Pete Wilson, the co-chairman of his campaign.
In a book offer from the 1970s, Schwarzenegger admitted to wanting to feel like Hitler at Nuremberg Stadium. He surmised how great it would feel when “…all those people scream at you and just being in total agreement with whatever you say.” As a celebrity, he should be used to the screams. But if citizens who are already angry about the recall in general and large tax hikes don’t start getting their way, he’ll be hearing screams of a different magnitude.
It seems the potential to play the governor was a role that Schwarzenegger just couldn’t resist, especially at a time when his acting career had all but stalled. Most California citizens could probably quote a line out of The Terminator or Kindergarten Cop a lot sooner than quoting what Schwarzenegger actually plans to do once in office.
Hopefully, if Schwarzenegger is elected into office today, he will play the role of governor a lot better than the way he has played the role of candidate. Then maybe, future gubernatorial races will become less of a debacle.