Letter: Former parliamentary candidate shares his views on Capitol siege

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, for some reason I always credited Oscar Wilde with those words; of course it was not Oscar Wilde but Samuel Johnson (he of Dictionary fame), although, now I come to think about it, it is the kind of remark that Wilde might well have made.

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“I mention Patriotism because it is the word of the weak in the United States of America; everybody and anybody claims to be a Patriot, and if you are a politician, and you don’t mention the word at least once in every sentence, then undoubtedly you will be considered suspect.

“For this past week, the United States has for me been like no other time, except perhaps for September 11, 2001 (9/11).

“This nation, or rather it’s people are shocked, incredulous, certainly angry, but the emotion I detect most of all is shame.

“A remark I heard that perhaps best illustrates this is the following: “If we can’t keep that trash out of the Capitol building, what hope have we for keeping out the Russians, the Chinese, etc.

“I didn’t inquire if he felt the Russians or Chinese were about to invade, but I understood his point. I was rude enough to dig a little deeper, I reminded him that it was indeed his president (whom I suspect he voted for) who orchestrated the insurrection, attempted coup, call it what you may.

“I did not pursue this line much further, I spend a lot of my time (an awful lot since Covid) in America, and I did not want to complicate my life further - but, as I write, it would be accurate to say that the United States today is an unhappy country.

“The fearsome debate waging this week is whether the House of Representatives should again draw up Articles of Impeachment to remove Mr Trump or proceed via the 25th Amendment route; this a more cumbersome procedure involving the Vice President, and the Cabinet, all agreeing that Mr. Trump is unfit for office.

“The other and maybe the more realistic plan is to let the President sit out the remaining days of his term in the White House (not doubt seething and plotting) but fairly, and I say fairly advisably, powerless to do much further damage. I do hope I’m right!

“The various police, Secret Service, and FBI agents are in full cry in pursuit of the insurrectionists (America is now getting used to that seldom used word).

“One of the miscreants who believed he was home and safe in Hawaii - yes, Hawaii - was picked up by the FBI when he landed early Friday morning, and is now no doubt safely on his way back east and in custody.

“This all has been a significant shock to the United States, and the ramifications of which are just becoming apparent.

“George W. Bush came to office only a few months before the 9/11 attack, and Joe Biden will come to office less than a month after these events and his future actions will determine his legacy.”

• Letter written by John Sellick, former Liberal Party candidate for Louth/East Lindsey constituency on five occasions in the 1970s and 1980s. Currently residing in North Carolina, USA.