Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Concerned Over Indiana Bill: ‘As a Republican, I’m Furious’

Indiana’s religious freedom bill has found itself an unsupportive opponent in the GOP with former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger’s op-ed in The Washington Post. This isn’t the first time the two-term Republican has expressed supports for gay rights, most notably when, as governor, refused to defend California’s Prop 8 in court.

In the op-ed, titled Indiana’s religious freedom bill is bad for Republicans, Schwarzenegger not only expressed distaste for Indiana’s version, but all “religious freedom” legislation around, saying,  “As an American, I’m incredibly concerned about what happened in Indiana this week and the threat of similar laws being passed in other states. As a Republican, I’m furious.”

Schwarzenegger then took a small government stand on the issue, calling on the GOP not to legislate love or be discriminatory:

“If the Republican Party wants the next generation of voters to listen to our ideas and solutions to real problems, we must be an inclusive and open party, not a party of divisions. We must be the party of limited government, not the party that legislates love. We must be the party that stands for equality and against discrimination in any form.”

At least Schwarzenegger actually cares about the future of his party. While the majority of young Republicans support gay rights, old-time Republicans like Mike Pence continue to put a social hurdle in the way of their own future. But I’m not complaining about that. If they want to destroy themselves by focusing of meaningless, offensive, trivial laws that appeal to their older, bigoted base, so be it. Good riddance.

Schwarzenegger also sent a strong warning to the GOP on how these laws will affect their target populations:

“Polls show that laws like this are not supported by independents, women, minorities or Americans between 18 and 29. Nor are they supported by big business, as evidenced by NASCAR, the NBA and Wal-Mart’s public, vocal opposition.”

The Calif0rnia Republican laid out some very good ideas on where the GOP should focus instead, should they want to remain relevant:

“We could start with infrastructure. Traffic costs our drivers over $100 billion annually. Airport delays cost another $22 billion. Or we could get to work on education. If graduation rates don’t increase, we will have a shortage of 5 million workers by 2020 — not because we lack the manpower, but because the jobs will require education that our students aren’t receiving. We could clean up our air: MIT researchers found that pollution kills more than 200,000 Americans every year — more than traffic accidents, homicides, suicides and our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. There are so many real problems that need solving.

But distracting, divisive laws like the one Indiana initially passed aren’t just bad for the country, they’re also bad for our party.”

It seems not every Republican is a bigoted jerk. Luckily, we have a small faction of Republicans who aren’t afraid to call out members of their own party for their stupid ideas.

Image via Roger Murmann