Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., joined "Hannity" on Monday and warned that with the exponential increase in police officers being vilified in the public square, including in the form of anti-police violence and harassment, marks a dangerous time for the United States.
Gingrich told host Sean Hannity that such danger is especially true in minority communities, where statistically there has been the most exponential increase in violent crime rates as police are either prevented from or become hesitant to do their jobs as prescribed.
"I think that the danger we’ve got which we’ve had before. The Black Panther movement in the late ‘60s for example, engaged in fairly large scale rioting. 2,500 bombs that went off from 1969 to ‘70. There were riots in an amazing number of cities in the 1960s. Part of what you have here is that the society can’t decide whether or not it favors law and order in the classic sense," he said.
"[T]he forces of disorder, the forces of crime, the forces who have contempt for civilization are all now dominant. You have [people] taunting the police, attacking the police. We have made being a policeman dramatically more dangerous. Historically that’s very unhealthy."
Gingrich said the natural bias in society is one that gives the officer the preferential treatment because he is the one willing to risk his life to protect and serve. That, the ex-speaker said, is no longer the case in many place.
"I think it’s a very dangerous time for the country and one which to some extent reminds me of the 1970s and the whole period of Clint Eastwood and Dirty Harry and 'Make my day' in the series of movies where people were so fed up with the crime that they were in effect willing to go and eat their popcorn and applaud somebody, including policemen who were clearly breaking the law to reestablish order," Gingrich added.
"I think this is a very dangerous time for the country and we need to understand that the more we weaken the police, the greater the likelihood of really serious crime and the greater the likelihood that innocent people are going to be killed or hurt."
In response to a video played by Hannity showing a young man taunting a marked NYPD cruiser on the streets of one of New York City's outerboroughs, Gingrich further asked why people like that weren't being arrested to retain peace and order.
Gingrich said that is potentially a symptom of the overarching negative view of policing and one in a place like the Big Apple where Democratic politicians have weakened the police force by partially defunding and removing qualified immunity protections from officers of the law.
"If we are going to back off and we are going to apologize and we’re going to allow the forces of crime and the forces of hostility to dominate the streets, then we’re going to get what we are now getting which is in every major city ... a dramatic rise in crime," he said.
"Who does that hurt? It hurts the innocent. It hurts minorities. Who are the largest number of victims of these kind of criminals? They are African-Americans."
He pointed to other Democrat-run cities like Chicago and Baltimore, both with large minority populations, who have seen an uptick in both crime and a negative collective view of law enforcement.
"This is madness and at some point society has to get a grip on itself and decide that we are in favor of the law. We are in favor of the police. We are in favor, yes, they’ve got to be trained. Yes when something goes wrong it has to be investigated. But on balance a strong, effective, trained police force is better for the poorest people and better for the minority groups than any other situation," he said.
"We need to get back to that and realize this fantasy liberalism is putting everybody’s life at risk."