When someone is elected to the United States Senate he or she takes an oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: (my emphasis) So help me God.
When a President is impeached the House of Representatives act as prosecutors and the 100 Senators act as Jury. As such they take an additional oath
I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of . . . . . . ., now pending, I will do impartial justice (my emphasis) according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.
That 43 Republican Senators chose to ignore the evidence of their ears, eyes and reason and so failed to find Donald Trump guilty of “inciting insurrection” declares to the World that they regard these oaths as no more that pompous mumbo jumbo. Their perceived self-interest (presumably they think voting to find Trump guilty would will damage their chances of re-election) takes precedence over their solemn assertions of probity.
Certainly since 1945, and probably longer, the US has been regarded as the leader of the “free world”. It was a flawed model (Vietnam, racism) but nevertheless a beacon of hope for “less happier lands,” a country where reason, decency and honour (or honor) were prized and would eventually prevail. The UK liked to think it held that position in earlier times.
Now that the leaders of the US have demonstrated that these ideals are just empty rhetoric and the government of the UK is in the hands of serial liars wreaking damage on its citizens to serve their own selfish ideologies, where is the idealistic young Russian, Chinese, Brazilian, Hungarian to look for a model where integrity is valued and fairness and the rule of law prevail?
France perhaps, Germany since 1945, Scandinavia, New Zealand?
There are now more authoritarian regimes in the world than liberal democracies. The Whig style “onward march of progress” which we’ve assumed was in the ascendency since 1945 is now on the back foot.
Those 43 US senators have done a grave dis-service not just to America (Trump will now loom menacingly and debase their politics during Biden’s first term a least) but to our hopes for a liberal democratic world.
Our leader is shamed.