IN A HORRIFIC video originally live-streamed to Facebook, America saw a few days ago as four young black adults in Chicago tortured a mentally disabled white man in what has now been charged as a hate crime. During a period of at least 24 hours, they forced him into a corner, duct-taped his mouth, tied his hands, made him drink toilet water, sliced his clothes with a knife, and used the knife to cut a gash in his scalp, all while laughing about it as one of them streamed much of it on Facebook.

It was reported that the victim, 18-year-old Austin Hilborn, was actually a school friend of one of the perpetrators, who first spent a day or two hanging out with Hilborn before turning on him with the others.

 THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT CALL PEOPLE NAZIS #ALTSeveral times during the video, they yell “f*** Donald Trump,” “f*** white people,” and also forced the victim to kiss the floor and repeat “f*** Donald Trump.” Somehow, despite this, Chicago police, though expressing shock at the brutality of the event, initially refused to designate it as either a hate crime or as politically motivated. The next day, however, they confirmed that the hate crime charge will be applied.

Apparently, screaming “F*** WHITE PEOPLE” wasn’t initially clear to them.

But that is nothing compared to the vile, disgusting reaction of leftists on (where else!) the Clinton News Network (CNN). Host Don Lemon said that he “does not think it is evil,” but rather the result of “young people” with “bad home training.”

One is at a loss to understand how torturing a mentally handicapped person while yelling racial slurs falls short of “evil” in Lemon’s estimation.

But the most telling, and important, reaction came from former Bernie Sanders press secretary, Symone Sanders, on the same program. Saying that “young people” such as the thugs who tortured Hilborn deserve “more credit” than assuming they were unaware of political events or badly brought up, Sanders talked about how “for the last year,” “the worst parts of America” were brought “from the fringe into the mainstream.”

It soon became clear exactly what she meant, when she mentioned – you guessed it – Donald Trump, saying that young people “may not watch the news, but they’re on Twitter, where the President-Elect is.”

Incidentally, she also said that the event was not a hate crime, because it was over “political leanings,” not race (“F*** WHITE PEOPLE!”).

Blaming the torture of a helpless mentally disabled man by four thugs on Donald Trump is ridiculous and shameful. But in a way, Sanders is right. Words DO have consequences.

For the last year, the left has responded to nearly all aspects of Donald Trump’s candidacy with hysteria, lies, and fear-mongering. Accusations of fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, etc. etc. etc. Comparisons to Hitler. Shrieking about support from the KKK or Neo-Nazis. Warning of the collapse of democracy and the coming of a new white supremacist tyranny.

For minorities especially, the left has framed Trump as an existential threat. (And the left seems to want to be composed solely of minorities, but that’s a topic for another time). The problem is that if you keep telling people that those on the other side are literal Nazis out to enslave them, they WILL eventually react as if this was true.

As if to prove my point, while I was writing this, I found that the Huffington Post has recommended using violence in response to Trump.

Everyone who, whether because they are a rabid anti-right bigot or a pathologically ignorant, driveling idiot, has ever called Trump “Hitler” or “Nazi” or “KKK” deserves a little bit of the blame for the horrific torture of Austin Hilborn.

Own it.

You caused it. You helped create the atmosphere of unfounded, anti-factual, hateful hysteria that emboldened these thugs and will embolden more in the future. Until the left learns that not everyone who loves their own nation and is not a fanatical Marxist is a Nazi, our public dialogue will continue its rapid and dangerous deterioration, driving away moderation, compromise, understanding, objective reality, and human decency.