Joanne B. Freeman, a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, has written a column for the Washington Post warning that the danger posed by the pro-Trump movement is far from over.
"Our government is still under attack," she writes toward the start of the piece. "The offensive is quieter now but no less menacing, eroding the government from within. The fundamental right to vote is under siege. The regulation of elections is being corrupted. And faith in the electoral process is fading; the 'big lie' about Donald Trump’s supposed victory in 2020 has staying power for just that reason."
One major reason that anti-democratic forces have continued gaining traction, she argues, is that there have been no serious consequences for former President Donald Trump and the political leaders who attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
"The stunningly muted response to the Jan. 6 attack offers no comfort," she argues. "It took a full six months for Congress to launch a formal investigation; five months later, the scope and purpose of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol remain unclear. Its high-profile subpoenas have been mostly unanswered, resulting in one criminal indictment, that of former Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon."
Freeman says that failure to enact real consequences for trying to circumvent the Constitution and then inciting a riot on the Capitol only ensures that such tactics will be deployed again.
"Here’s the problem, and it’s foreboding: If a line is crossed, and the occasion passes unacknowledged, was there really a line?" she asks rhetorically. "All these months after the attack, the seemingly bare-minimum response has not happened: There has been no full-throated group statement from the congressional bully pulpit stating that the attack was out of bounds, no strong, clear line in the sand naming the events of Jan. 6 an unforgivable assault on the democratic processes and principles of our government that must never happen again."