The shock of what I saw take place in the Congress on the 7th of January still sits with me, as I am sure it does with so many others.
There is something immensely sad in having been a witness to this travesty. I sort of wish I was able to un-believe it or un-see it - but it rolled out on my screen in front of my eyes - it really did happen.
I can not but help reflect on the possibility that Trump must have said to someone - "all these proud-boys in town - leave them be - I don't want to see lots of security." - I also find it beyond belief that back-up and supporting force was so slow in coming to the rescue.
The truth is; it should NEVER have happened, and it was entirely preventable. So I suspect there was collusion somewhere.
No doubt all of the facts will unfold in time. But people died. A police officer, Brian Sicknick, doing his duty died, and all for what? Because Trump tried for a coup. Let's not shy away from what it was - an attempted coup - in Washington DC.
You only have to listen to the speeches given to the mob outside the White House by Trump and his henchman Rudi Giuliani and his weak and spiteful son, aptly named "Donald Trump Junior". I can not believe that those speeches would not be considered hate crimes. They reminded me of Pathe newsreels from the era of the Third Reich and the rise of the Nazi Party.
More people should realise how fragile Democracy is and that we take it for granted at our peril. It is precious and worth defending because we know what the alternatives are.
How close did America come to a coup? I don't know. But this, I do know, it could have had a different ending: For incedance, if the hooligans had not invaded the Congress but just stood outside chanting; if there had been more support for the likes of Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Rick Scot and their seditious objections, things could have turned out differently. Trump could have won the vote, and then all hell would have let loose.
Thank goodness it didn't come to that, but never-the-less, people died. Their deaths are on many hands, including Trump, his family and many influential people and politicians who should, you would think, know better.
Throughout this whole sorry saga, leaders should understand that words matter. That actions count and with power and position, there goes great responsibility. Many leaders and politicians in the United States today have demonstrably shown they are not fit for the task of leading.
And as to Messrs Cruz, Hawley, Scott and their ilk - they have proved that it is time for them to either be imprisoned for sedition or pack their bags and go home with their heads hung in shame.
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 9th January - 2021