Despite being a registered Republican since 1976, I am today embarrassed by that affiliation.

Spineless Republican leadership has allowed the Narcissist-in-Chief Donald Trump to incite his Know-Nothing faithful to parrot his rantings, become whipped into an ignorant frenzy and invade the U.S. Capitol.

Did it have to come to this end? If party leadership had explained even a month ago to Trump that the party was done with his experiment and that the party would not support the degradation of democracy by threats, coercion, lies and mob rule, Wednesday's events would have been avoided and four people wouldn't have died.

My stomach turned as I caught up with today's events after the fact. Embarrassment then washed over me as I heard our own Louisiana toady, Sen. John N. Kennedy, vote to support the specious objection to the Arizona vote count. I watched these events late at night because I'm one of those much talked about, but rarely listened to, "front-line" workers helping to care for some of the other collateral damage from failed presidential and Republican Party leadership: patients infected with COVID-19.

The coming months will likely see me as either an independent or a Libertarian voter. I can no longer stomach the impotent, failed leadership of both of the main American political parties.

What needs to happen next? Impeachment? Invoking the 25th Amendment? Prosecution as a traitor to the U.S.?

Trump has shown no inclination to actually lead his country since losing the election. His golfing in conjunction with Wednesday's events will certainly not burnish America's reputation in the rest of the world. A president inciting a riot cannot be overlooked by the world or the American people.

Oh, and don't forget: Kennedy has got to go.

CHRISTOPHER BARRILLEAUX

physician

New Orleans