He's The Terminator

He can make you laugh

He's human

Arnold Lives the American Dream

If Arnold's filmography doesn't make you love him, or at least convince you to like him, his personification of the "American Dream" should do the trick without causing much fear, pain, or discomfort.

Arnold was born in Thal, Austria, and came to the United States in 1968 at the age of 21. He spoke little English. In 1970, he won his first of seven Mr. Olympia titles for bodybuilding. Arnold progressed through the world of bodybuilding as a champion.

Schwarzenegger then turned his attention to acting - isn't that the American way? While he grabbed a few bit parts here and there, it was his role in Conan the Barbarian that propelled his career into high gear and his role in The Terminator made the jump to hyperspeed..

During this time Schwarzenegger had his fair share of romances with beautiful women, but it was in 1977 that he met his future wife, Maria Shriver. Shriver is from the Kennedy clan - the American royalty and perhaps folks should have realized early on that Arnold would become more than just a pretty face speaking bad English.

Even as his English improved - or perhaps in spite of his poor English - Arnold continued to become a bigger and bigger Hollywood star. With his toothy grin that was full of cheese and charm, Arnold became a force to be reckoned with in the guise of an action hero. The love and adoration of so many for this man became memorialized when Arnold received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his handprints and footprints were permanently cemented in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

When Arnold turned his attention to politics, in truth, most of the world - even his fans - probably rolled their eyes and snickered. Arnold has long been a staunch Republican - bucking the norm for the Hollywood elite who embrace the liberal philosophy of Democratic party politics. For his gumption and determination to stick to his guns (well, not literally) and follow the politics and philosophies that suit him despite the choices of his peers - Arnold deserves some kudos. Maybe not outright love, but definitely some points.

Arnold gave a speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention, detailing his own story of immigrating to America and casting his lot with the Republican party. He spoke without shame or fear of derision (which is something to be admired) about hearing a speech given by Richard Nixon during the 1968 Presidential race.

Arnold recalled that Nixon spoke about free enterprise, ending government intervention, lowering taxes and creating a stronger military. He was impressed by the philosophy and after asking someone what political party Nixon belonged to, decided then and there he would be a Republican just like Nixon. Well, maybe not just like Nixon. At least let's hope not.

It was in 1988 - during the Presidential election - that Arnold first came into the public eye with the Republican party. He accompanied then-Vice President George H.W. Bush at a campaign rally and was later appointed as chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports - a role which he held from 1990 to 1993.

This wasn't enough of the political arena for Arnold and he wasn't close to being finished - his political career was not going the way of The Terminator. Eventually the big guy did what many had speculated he would do - he jumped into politics in a big way.

Did Arnold run for the local school board? How about a County Commissioner? Maybe a small-town Mayor? Those are good choices for normal peons and nobodies who want to dabble a little pinky toe into the world of public service and potential corruption. Nay, not enough for "The Republicanator" - Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to go whole hog, no small potatoes for this guy.

Arnold threw himself into the ruckus surrounding the recall of California Governor Gray Davis in 2003. After the people of California voted to oust Davis (with a swift kick to the pants and a sharp jab to the dignity, no less), Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as the 38th Governor of the State of California. There was some political stuff in between the recall and the election of the new Governor of course - getting on the ballot, campaigning, proving to the world that he was more than just a pretty face reciting lines with an accent - but Schwarzenegger managed to do it.


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Copyright Hyram King 2008