State Rep. Robert Sutherland, the Republican who represents the eastern sides of Snohomish and Skagit counties, says it is time to “prepare for war.”

Who does Sutherland propose to go to war against? Apparently, anyone who thinks Joe Biden is the legitimate president-elect of the United States. Sutherland says America is being destroyed by evildoers and, thus, President Donald Trump has every right to call out the military to maintain himself in power.

Wow. It is weird to hear this level of looniness coming from a state legislator, but Sutherland is hardly unique. Republican officials all over the country, including numerous GOP members of Congress, are, to one degree or another, trafficking in bogus scenarios about sinister, alien cabals rigging the presidential election – this, even as many sane Republican officials are receiving death threats because they accept the truth that the election was fair and honest.

How did it come to this? Well, prime culprits are easy to find in the burgeoning right-wing media. From Fox News to the even more propagandistic Newsmax, One America News Network and Breitbart and on into the darker, crazier reaches of right-wing extremist websites, dangerous conspiracy theories and preposterous lies ricochet in every direction. Caught in this lurid echo chamber, it is no wonder that people get a warped picture of reality, even many elected officials who are supposed to be slightly more sophisticated than the average Joe.

Trump did not create this wretched phenomenon, he is just the most prominent consumer and recycler of it all. It is a good thing that he will soon no longer be retweeting this vile, subversive nonsense from the White House, but the nonsense is not going away. It is lodged too deeply in a frightening number of American minds.

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