Arnold in 2016

The age is long upon us. We have already seen giants: Jefferson, Napoleon, Bismarck, Victoria, Trotsky, Mao, Roosevelt and Eisenhower. What would those places and this place be today without them? Maybe we'd already be what we are becoming: A incoherent, squabbling array of warring medievalist tribes, like those in J.J. Abrams recent prime-time NBC offering, "Revolution," fighting with swords and arrows after the lights of human imagination have gone out. It may be in our times that we require someone larger than life to meet our aspirations, to bring us forward, to awaken us again. Like Mr. Universe.

He says now he wants to run for president in 2016. Let him. If America doesn’t want him, they won't vote for him.

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President Eisenhower was not all that squeamish about that annoying constitutional clause about needing to be born in the United States to be president. He seriously considered advancing Michigan Gov. George Romney (R) for president. That Romney was born in Mexico didn’t come up. Great paradigm-changing leaders in the past have often been from other places. Often they saw in the people what the people had not yet seen in themselves: like Napoleon, and really bad ones too, like Hitler.

Schwarzenegger was a good governor of California. He could have been a great governor had California been ready to join in with his leadership. California was not ready for him. Schwarzenegger brought a Tea Party prototype without the long face. His group R20 still has these features. Probably he was the first western governor to challenge federal dominance seriously since 1865. They all do it now.

“Schwarzenegger has been talking openly about working on getting the constitutional rules changed so he can run for president in 2016,” a source in The New York Post reports. “He is ready to file legal paperwork to challenge the rules.”

The case for Schwarzenegger: He is one of the few politicians since JFK who smiles naturally without an ironic edge. And unlike other prominent politicians today, when he laughs, it does not scare children. In the "Conan" (1982) days, one film critic quoted an anthropologist saying that the appearance of actor Schwarzenegger as a giant, beautiful man was a case of “compensational archetypes.” We needed these archetypes, she said, to countervail the weaselly failure of masculinity in the '60s and '70s. Possibly we need this again.

Then there is the physical presence: He makes the others seem small.