President Trump Promises Justice and Retribution at CPAC; We Need a Lot of Both

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Saturday, President Trump gave the keynote speech at CPAC (see Vintage Trump Speaks at CPAC, Delivers a Mixed Bag). Part of the speech included this line.


in 2016, I declared I am your voice. Today I add I am your Warrior, I am your Justice, and for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.

Immediately panties were wadded, and sand rubbed into sensitive orifices. Sunday, on CNN’s State of the Union, which may or may not have a measurable audience, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson had this to say about the speech.

Well, it’s troubling. First of all, if you want to heal our land and unite our country together, you don’t do it by appealing to the angry mob. And that’s true whether you’re talking about an angry mob from the left or the right.
Some guy named Aaron Blake used the op-ed page of the Washington Post to talk about Trump’s “dark” pledge.
Friday, I had the opportunity to hear and briefly chat with pro-life activist Mark Houck. Mr. Houck is on a Lenten lecture tour sponsored by Defend Life. His talk focused on pro-life witness, the impact it can have, and his abuse at the hands of the federal government.

Mark Houck, you’ll recall, is the man whose home was hit by a pre-dawn raid by an FBI/Pennsylvania State Police SWAT team. Holding his wife and six children at gunpoint, Federal agents arrested Mr. Houck on a specious charge of violating the Free Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, handcuffed him, and held him in a confinement facility for nearly 12 hours. Though the charges made him vulnerable to 11 years in prison, he was released on his own recognizance. This all happened after the far-left, handpicked Soros prosecutor in Philadelphia declined to prosecute the case when it was presented to him. A federal jury later acquitted Mr. Houck after a whole hour of deliberations.

RedState has covered Mr. Houck’s story (FBI Agents Raid Home of Pro-Life Author With Guns Drawn in Front of His Screaming Kids, New Details of Outrageous FBI Raid on Catholic Activist Mark Houck Shock the Conscience, Justice Department Policy Targets Pro-Life Activists Because Biden Official Has Butthurt Over Supreme Court’s Abortion DecisionThe DOJ Has Some Explaining to Do After Video Used to Prosecute Pro-Lifer Is Released, and Federal Jury Blows up Biden Administration Persecution of Pro-Life American Raided by the FBI).

To all appearances, the handling of this arrest, after Mr. Houck’s attorney contacted the US Attorney to arrange for Mr. Houck to surrender himself, seems to violate FBI regulations. Just as the indictment of Mr. Houck was carried out maliciously to penalize him financially and potentially with jail time for engaging in protected speech, the raid seems a calculated attempt to intimidate pro-lifers and “chill” (as the left likes to say) all protests against abortion.

Mr. Houck, and dozens more like him, have been wronged and betrayed by their government. In that context, there is nothing dark about Trump’s speech. On the contrary, it is the essence of justice. Retributive justice. It isn’t enough that victims are made whole. Criminals must be punished to deter them from future wrongdoing and to set an example for society that justice prevails and to other potential criminals about what comes next.

For my part, there is no doubt that the federal government has been weaponized against American citizens who hold conservative points of view. The spate of FACE Act arrests after the Dobbs decision has nothing to do with any uptick in violations of the law and everything to do with letting pro-life conservatives know, “yeah, you won the case by we can still stick you in prison for a decade.” The Stasi-like pursuit of people who, at the absolute worst, are guilty of a misdemeanor charge over the January 6 protest is calculated to make people afraid to protest government action…unless you are Antifa, in which case you can burn down federal buildings and bash cops and the Department of Justice could give a f*** less.
Hutchinson could not be more wrong, though he might be tempted to give it a go. We cannot heal as a society if those who have used the federal government’s power to commit grave injustices are not punished. For the fractures in our culture to heal, it must be made abundantly and publicly clear that you are entitled to your own beliefs but not to use armed goons to intimidate people with different values.
I don’t know who will be the GOP nominee in 2024. Like many others, I have some skepticism that the same President Trump who failed to gain much traction against the Deep State last time will do better in future encounters. But any candidate who offers to “let bygones be bygones” and does not take up the cause of the men and women who were targeted for their politics by the government will not have my support.


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