Letter sent to all Republican Senators, US Senate, on Thursday, 11 February, 2021 by Richard Despard
To: All Republican Senators.
I am based in Europe but I know America well. I have admired your values, your freedoms and the fact that you have so often stood up for democracy, both at home and abroad. Because of this your American voice counts when you censor the actions of dictators around the world that trample the principles of democracy.
For four years we have watched the rapid decline of 'Brand America'. The withdrawal from a leadership role that America enjoyed for so long, has left the western world severely weakened.
After watching four years of President Trump's actions it seems clear that you gentlemen 'have let the fox into the hen-house'. He has made full use of your support to exploit the situation for his own benefit. To all outward appearances he has manipulated public opinion, and his Republican Party supporters specifically, to achieve an extension of his tenure – without any acceptance of the principles of sacred democracy. It would seem that he was seeking the same unchallenged continuance in office enjoyed by President Putin and President Xi Jinping.
The invasion of The Capitol was the culmination of President Trump's incitement of his supporters to help him achieve this goal. As President and Commander in Chief, President Trump did nothing to halt the attack on both your Capitol and Democracy.
Senators – this cannot be allowed to go unpunished. You cannot sit by and condone this. You must put Country before Party.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" – said Edmund Burke (1729-97), the Anglo-Irish statesman and philosopher. Burke was a proponent of underpinning virtues with manners in society and of the importance of religious institutions for the moral stability and good of the state. He was also critical of British government action towards the American Colonies.
If you Republican Senators do not vote to impeach President Trump, you will not only be shamed for the rest of your lives – but America's position of influence will be reduced to an all-time low; this at a time when countries in the east represent a real threat to the western world and its values.
I have family relations in many countries. A number still live in America and are proud to be American – but I hear subdued voices. This matters to me.
I claim a right to voice my views – I cannot sit and say nothing. Some of my family were early American entrepreneurs. 'The Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society' (1804) reported that 'the first (blast) furnace for smelting iron-ore known in the county of Plymouth (New England/Massachusetts) was erected in the year 1702 by Lambert Despard (a founder). Lambert Despard started in America as a servant of William Penn (1644 – 1718). Penn was an English entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom. Lambert then started to work at John Hubbard's Iron Works in East Braintree, before moving to Plymouth. Lambert and his father John Despard also had an American timber and general merchant business started in late 1600's. John Despard was based at Cork in Ireland.
Senators – I implore you – vote for the high standards that have been set and achieved by your forebears – put Country ahead of Party.
Signed – Richard Despard
Prior to the vote on Saturday, 13 February, Richard also reinforced his Republican credentials, justifying his interest, with information on his relation, as described in Wikipedia below, and suggesting that a certain strength of character was required:
For your interest Senator - a man of strong principles:
Edward Marcus Despard (1751 – 21 February 1803), an Irish officer in the service of the British Crown, gained notoriety as a colonial administrator for refusing to recognise racial distinctions in law and, following his recall to London, as a republican conspirator. Despard's associations with the London Corresponding Society, the United Irishmen and United Britons led to his trial and execution in 1803 as the alleged ringleader of a plot to assassinate the King.
Richard had some responses from Republican Senators following the vote justifying the basis of their negative vote – e.g. 'The unconstitutionality of the Impeachment process etc'. He replied as follows on Sunday, 14 February:
Thank you again for responding to my email.
While I do not agree with certain fundamentals cited by certain Republican Senators in support of their voting - the Senate has voted.
What remains of course - for both Americans, their allies and the rest of the world (friend and foe alike) - is to see what measures the Republican Party takes to ensure that Ex-President Trump is never permitted to be in a position to incite such events again.