THE Riverina's Ron Arel, who moved to Australia from the USA in 2013, has expressed dismay, disappointment and disbelief at the scenes that beamed from his home country around the world on Thursday morning.
Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building in Washington DC on Thursday morning (Australian time) as Congress was mid-way through certifying the Electoral College votes following the November 3 election, which was won by President Elect Joe Biden.
What has followed since November 3 is well documented - Trump continues to refuse to concede and his supporters continue to believe the results have been falsified and the election "stolen" from Trump by the Democrats.
The unrest has been brewing during what has been a turbulent period of American history.
It's a complex nation and certainly not a "United States of America" by a long shot at the moment, but it's the place Mr Arel was born and raised before moving to Leeton.
When commenting on the scenes coming from America on Thursday morning, Mr Arel said on one hand he was shocked, but on the other he wasn't surprised.
"I really feel this is the culmination of his (Trump's) ego manifesting in those that are feeding off it," he said.
"It has revealed, and I hate to say it, that if this has happened in the States, it can happen anywhere.
"It really is so sad and disheartening for me to see.
"It's well and truly not the country that I left. This is a vocal minority that is essentially feeding and fueling this.
"Trump knows he can't exist without them and they are feeding off what comes out of him and the White House."
A woman was reportedly shot dead during the chaos at the Capitol, while others were injured as protesters stormed the building, many of them armed with guns.
President Elect Joe Biden appeared on television to condemn the actions, while Trump himself eventually appeared to ask the protesters to go home, but the damage had already been seen and heard across the globe.
Mr Arel believes democracy - and the truth - have all been under threat ever since President Trump was elected four years ago.
The issue remains complex, with many layers upon layers all building to Thursday's confrontation, which some have labelled an attempted coup.
Mr Arel still has immediate family members living in America and he had spoken to them while the events were unfolding, wanting to gain their thoughts and express his concerns.
He said every day he wakes up wondering "what will happen next", but was fatigued by it all.
"Every day there is a Donald Trump headline ... you become so tired of it all," Mr Arel said.
"My hope (for the future) is that the American political system will work to unify the country. I understand there is going to be differences among people, that is human nature, but what we really need is leaders to step in and try to find a way to have common ground, instead of increasing the divide and the opinions."
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