Before Donald Trump won the presidency, I, like many others harbored a fantasy that if he won, he would hold Hillary Clinton accountable. “Lock her up” as the chant goes.

For most law abiding Americans, the double standard and disregard for the rule of law among the elite is stinging. We see ordinary people sentenced for minor infractions while these monumental crimes are shrugged off. “She made a mistake. She apologized.” Case closed. I can only imagine the reaction to the average person mounting that defense in court. Admittedly, it’s not as powerful as “I forgot” but amazingly it seemed to vindicate Hillary in the minds of nearly half the country.

The day after the election a curious phenomenon began on the pages of Facebook and among pundits on talk radio and TV. To quote one Facebook entry: “Donald Trump would win even bigger if he were to pardon Hillary in January”. Whereas I respect the person who posted that, it smacks of a shallow sentimentality that makes precious little sense. What exactly would he win by doing that? Will those who didn’t like him…the never Trumpers – who consider him a racist, sexist, Islamophobic brute – suddenly cheer his magnanimity? Would this gentlemanly act unite a divided electorate? Would those burning him in effigy drop their torches and run to the table to make peace?

Not for nothing, it was a brutal election battle. A lot of feelings were hurt on both sides. We “deplorables” who supported Trump were repeatedly vilified by Hillary Clinton and her complicit minions in the press.

But He won.

We won.

Decisively.

How about letting us enjoy the victory for say 18- to 24-hours? I’m not saying we should gloat. I haven’t done that. I’m just darned happy that after years of decline, corruption, and encroaching governmental control there is a light shining out from this miserable darkness President Obama has thrust us into. Let me have my moment.

But I digress. Let’s get back to this idea of pardoning Hillary Clinton. Perhaps if her crimes were minor and her contrition apparent, a pardon might be the merciful thing to do. But her list of crimes is staggering and of the most serious nature, likely including treason. Now of course, she hasn’t been tried in a court of law so legally is presumed innocent. But with the evidence we do know, that fact alone is most troublesome. Why hasn’t she been held to account when the casualties of her behavior include four dead Americans, including an ambassador? Why are we so cavalier about her transgressions when the FBI admits there is a 99% chance her e-mails were hacked by any or all of five foreign governments? Why must we just let it go when she obstructed justice by destroying evidence and sent her husband to a clandestine meeting with the Attorney General?

I know particularly as Christians we are called to forgive and not be vindictive. But justice is not revenge, particularly in a case such as this when such egregious serial criminal behavior threatens our national security and the safety and survival of every American. The crimes in question were not errors in judgment or accidents but premeditated attempts to hide criminal activity and to profit at the expense of national security.

To those who would like to put this behind us with a pardon, the parable of the Prodigal Son is most instructive. The son demands his inheritance and leaves his father’s house and squanders it on loose living. He finally comes to his senses and returns with the properly contrite attitude that attracts mercy: “I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be your son. Hire me as one of your hired servants.” Hillary has shown no demonstrable remorse for her crimes and the damage she’s done, but in stunning contrast to the prodigal used every means she could to dupe us into believing she was fit to be our President.

As much as I abhor Hillary Clinton, I don’t believe Donald Trump should waste his energy talking about prosecuting her nor jeopardize his credibility by even considering the idea of pardoning her. He has bigger things to focus on right now.

The FBI investigations should continue unfettered and a special prosecutor or the new attorney general should prosecute (or not) based on all the evidence uncovered. Seeking to pander to his opponents will alienate those of us who have supported him for his tough stand and his commitment to “drain the swamp” and take on the corruption in Washington. Leaving the head of the Clinton crime family at the top of the rat pack would be counter-productive toward that end, at best.

So to those hawking this pardon play, I know your intentions may be good, but please knock it off. This is one time when drippy sentimentality must yield to simple common sense and justice. If you care about her soul, enabling her criminal behavior to go unprosecuted and unpunished will certainly damn her to a longer sentence than any pardon can help her avoid.