Diary

Origin of "Hippie Punching"

Moe Lane did a post on a new term to him — “Hippie Punching.” I could research every term in the American political language and post it all right here on RedState and he still won’t know who I am and what I’ve done. It’s very frustrating. Moe, just drop a line!

My name is Barry Popik, but you can call me Rodney Dangerfield. I have a Political Glossary that historically defines hundreds of American political expressions. I’ve contributed to the Oxford English Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of American Slang and the Dictionary of American Regional English and the Yale Book of Quotations. My work has been in the New York Times and the New York Post and the Dallas Morning News and the Wall Street Journal and many other places.

I work for free and can barely pay expenses, although my website has had over 40 million hits.

“Hippie punching” appears to date to a Frank J. satire, “A Frank Legal Discussion: Why Is It Illegal to Punch Hippies?,” in Right Wing News on July 10, 2007. “Hippie punching” also became associated with Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign by January 2008.

From part of my entry:

Entry from September 25, 2010
Hippie Punching
White House political advisor David Axelrod was asked about “hippie punching” in September 2010, but Axelrod wasn’t familiar with the term. New York magazine defined “hippie punching” as “when the image-conscious Democratic establishment publicly distances itself from supportive liberal activists in order to appear more centrist.” Hippies are associated with the far-left.

Right Wing News published “A Frank Legal Discussion: Why Is It Illegal to Punch Hippies?—Satire By Frank J.” on July 10, 2007. Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson was given this slogan by 2008 pundits: “”Kill the terrorists. Protect the border. Punch the hippies.” When Thompson dropped out of the race in January 2008, several pundits complained about the lack of hippie punching. On February 19, 2008, IMAO published a “Hippie Punching FAQ.”

“Hippie punching” usage evolved from the right attacking the far left to the left attacking the far left.

ThoseShirts.com
IMAO’s Fred Thompson ‘08 T-Shirt
FRED THOMPSON ‘08
KILL THE TERRORISTS
PROTECT THE BORDERS
PUNCH THE HIPPIES

Urban Dictionary
hippie punch
A hippie punch is when you’re working your way to the front of a show by performing a dancing, punching motion, therefore annoying audience members so they simply move out of the way and let you pass making your way through the crowd….closer to the jams.
I didn’t sit through the opening act and hold my pee to get a great spot, so I hippie punched my way past those who did.
by Ratdog83 Oct 10, 2009

Right Wing News
July 10, 2007
A Frank Legal Discussion: Why Is It Illegal to Punch Hippies?—Satire By Frank J.
Often I’m asked, “Why, if I punch a hippy, would I be arrested for assault? Are we supposed to believe that the Founding Fathers wanted hippies to walk around un-punched?”

IMAO
December 19, 2007
The Official IMAO Republican Primary Endorsement
Posted by Frank J. at 11:08 AM
(…)
Also, John Hawkins’s reduction of the Fred Thompson slogan “Kill the terrorists. Protect the border. Punch the hippies.” down to the less cumbersome “Kill. Protect. Punch.” really makes Fred Thompson’s strengths as a candidate clear.

National Review Online – The Campaign Spot by Jim Geraghty
He Should Have Punched More Hippies.
January 22, 2008 2:38 P.M. By Jim Geraghty
There will be a lot of post-mortems written about the Fred Thompson campaign, an effort that put together a lot of bright, hardworking people.
(…)
Along comes Fred, who doesn’t act as if rebutting Moore’s propaganda is beneath him, and he points out that Moore likes to snuggle with censoring, brutal dictators, he suggests Moore is mentally unstable… and we loved it. We’ve been looking for this combativeness from a conservative for years, and it makes Giuliani’s “I don’t need Michael Moore to tell me about 9/11” sound like Marquess de Queensbury rules. To quote Frank J, we’ve been looking for somebody to “punch the hippies.”