Gingrich on liberals' misjudgment of Putin: They thought 'The Lion King' was a 'documentary'

Without Western might and decisiveness, Adolf Hitler's influence would now dominate the world, Gingrich warned.

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Left-wingers cannot fully understand who Russian authoritarian President Vladimir Putin is and why he continues to bombard Ukraine and its civilians because they lack a basic grasp of good versus evil, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News.

In an interview airing Sunday on "Life, Liberty & Levin", Gingrich explained how Americans were given a preview of how the left would handle Putin's latest violation of international norms when they watched Democrats allow left-wing rioters full reign in 2020 and continue their soft-on-crime policies amid spikes in retail and violent crime in municipalities they run.

"I think that you can be willfully avoiding reality. But if you're open to looking at reality, [Putin has] written a 9,000-word explanation: He gave a very long speech to the Russian people just before he invaded," Gingrich, author of "Beyond Biden," said.

"He has said that the greatest disaster of the 20th century was the collapse of the Soviet Union. He clearly is committed to reestablishing a Russian Empire."

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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan, Armenia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan, Armenia. (Shutterstock)

"The easiest way to think of this is that liberals saw ‘The Lion King’ and thought it was a documentary," he said. "And they literally wander around thinking the lions and zebras sing and dance together."

In the Disney classic, the carnivorous felines rule over an African landscape in harmony with creatures who would otherwise be their prey in real life. Gingrich said liberals and Democrats have this deeply-held feeling that the society portrayed in the fictional film is an allegory for how the world operates.

He claimed, however, that if 20th century Americans took that tact, Adolf Hitler's Third Reich would lead the international system and not American republicanism or parliamentary democracy. 

"When you try to explain to them whether it's domestic criminals who are out murdering and raping and carjacking and breaking into stores, or it's international terrorists or it's countries whose leaders are themselves terrorists… They can't believe it's true," Gingrich said.

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Adolf Hitler gives an impassioned speech while opening the Berlin International Auto Show. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Adolf Hitler gives an impassioned speech while opening the Berlin International Auto Show. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

"They keep saying to us, 'Don't you understand, there has to be a better way'. -- Well, I'll tell you without the weight and might of the United States and Great Britain, Hitler would have won. A world dominated by Hitler would have been horrible."

Because liberals refuse to believe the reality of how the planet is set up among its various heads of state and governing systems in this way, it has been difficult to convince them of their flawed worldview, he claimed.

Hitler committed suicide in April 1945, and the hammer and sickle was last lowered from the Kremlin on Christmas Day 1991.

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A man wearing a shirt with the image of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin attends May Day in Belgrade, Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

A man wearing a shirt with the image of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin attends May Day in Belgrade, Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

"Without the determination of the United States and its many allies, the Soviet Union might have won in a world dominated by the Soviet Union would have been horrible," Gingrich added, nodding to the 1991 fall of the U.S.S.R., which he said incensed Putin and fueled his vision.

Counting Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as the 20th-century examples, Gingrich warned that the state of the world looks somewhat similar with two new nefarious actors in Russia and China rising on the stage.

"If they decide that the Western democracies are gutless, that in the end we have words with no weapons, that we are willing to stand for our values, and we're not willing to stand for our interests, this world is going to have to be so much more dangerous almost overnight," he warned.