President Donald Trump’s backers spent years sowing the wind. Now they are reaping the whirlwind. As journalists and commentators line up to say the events unfolding last night on the steps of the US Capitol Building are unprecedented in modern times, the rest of the world watched on with grim familiarity.

Armed militias roving the streets and anti-democracy protestors storming legislatures are the kind of thing Americans are used to condemning from afar, rather than waking up to on their doorsteps. All that has now changed, and the country that once saw itself as the guiding light for world democracy will finally have to accept it has lost much of its glow.