Former President Donald Trump's ascent to the White House brought with it a widespread public embrace of deranged conspiracy theories like QAnon, which hinges on the belief that Trump was sent by God to expose a covert network of satanic cannibal pedophiles secretly controlling the United States government.
One QAnon defector who went viral for trashing a display of masks at Target, said she was "sucked in" to the conspiracy theory, and compared the militant belief in it to "hitting rock bottom for alcohol or drugs."
QAnon is but one conspiracy theory subscribed to by a vast portion of Trump supporters. Other theories include belief in the lie that the 2020 election was "stolen," that vaccines against the virus that's killed over 600 thousand Americans are a secret exercise in government control, and that the Capitol Riots were carried out by antifa.
The undying loyalty to Trump has baffled and infuriated his critics, with many wondering what could possibly shake them from their image of the former President as some messianic figure.
That's why a bizarre Tuesday tweet from Trump's former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, raised eyebrows as he encouraged Trump's supporters to call themselves "pipehitters."
Calling all unapologetic Americans to join me and become a Pipehitter. https://t.co/KO15jutDPi— Mike Pompeo (@Mike Pompeo) 1623774080.0
Pompeo issued the call as part of the rollout for his Champion American Values PAC, and claimed that "pipehitters" were those "dedicated to stand against the radical Left's agenda."
In a video, he says:
"I need each of you to be a pipehitter. Get stuff done. Keep grinding."
"Hitting the pipe" is often used to refer to drug use, though it also can also be a crass colloquialism used to dismiss constant peddlers of delusions and conspiracy theories.
It's that last definition that resulted in widespread mockery of Pompeo's tweet.
How can cancel culture kill comedy when these people exist https://t.co/hUE59oeiTe— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE, REFUND OUR COMMUNITIES (@DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE, REFUND OUR COMMUNITIES) 1623795339.0
I always figured these people were hitting the pipe, but I never thought they'd actually come out and say it. https://t.co/Tf0giU4ILj— Sean Moore (@Sean Moore) 1623788403.0
we live in a simulation https://t.co/skSObsIGbw— Dermot O'Halloran (@Dermot O'Halloran) 1623791483.0
A strong candidate for the single funniest tweet of the year. Absolutely stunning. https://t.co/HPYFH7Djnc— Phil Maddox (@Phil Maddox) 1623788847.0
People speculated as to how on earth the PAC decided on the term.
amazed by the 23 year old with huge gums who came up with this. nice work https://t.co/71Ys836tR7— Anor Londo gentrifier (@Anor Londo gentrifier) 1623785667.0
Were... were you high when you tweeted this? https://t.co/QCdxpOFqBm— Daniel W. Drezner (@Daniel W. Drezner) 1623786671.0
That time when nobody on his team warned Mike Pompeo what 99.9% of the people would think when they hear the word "… https://t.co/W0jONrpFlg— Heather (@Heather) 1623779915.0
It doesn't look like they have any intention to backtrack on the name.