Allowing vandals to destroy statues is 'the end of civilization as we've known it,' Gingrich says
'Idiots who know no history or who hate America want to tear down' Emancipation Memorial of Lincoln, Gingrich says, comparing them to the Taliban
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says allowing "vandals and barbarians" to get away with destroying public statues without consequence is “the end of civilization as we've known it."
“Most people agree that no one should have the right on their own to go and destroy things. I mean, if you want to go through a political process, and say, you know, that particular statue should be moved into a museum or whatever, that’s one thing,” Gingrich told Just the News in an interview Friday.
“But to just go out on your own and say, ‘I have decided, I will destroy this,’ clearly is the end of civilization as we've known it. I mean, these are vandals and barbarians,” he added.
Gingrich mentioned the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park, which was paid for by the wages of freed slaves. The statue shows former Republican President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, standing up while a freed slave is kneeling. Protestors are reportedly planning to join together to attempt to tear it down.
“It's a great historical monument, and slaves who have been freed by Lincoln gave money and ultimately raised enough money to build the statue and yet idiots who know no history or who hate America want to tear down the statue and that's the sort of thing you're up against,” he said.
The 2012 Republican presidential candidate compared the current destructions to an incident when the Taliban blew up two giant Buddhist statues in 2001.
"The entire world condemned them because these were great religious artifacts that were 2000 years old. Well, that's sort of how I feel about these guys who are out here destroying things,” he said. “They have no idea what their value is. They have no idea what the history is. They just want to engage in anarchism in a way in which, I think, no civilized society can tolerate.”
Gingrich predicted that those tearing down statues will not stop at statues of members of the Confederacy or other slavery-era figures.
“I think what once they get started, and they believe they have the right to impose on you what they believe, then I think you don't have — there’s no natural automatic stopping point,” he said. “These people really do represent an alternative civilization and they really would destroy ours. I'm not quite sure what they would build in its place but they know they hate us.”
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy recently suggested that the Democratic Party change its name, considering its past ties to the Confederacy and segregation laws. Gingrich agreed with McCarthy’s argument.
“The Democratic Party was founded by [Thomas] Jefferson and [James] Madison. So if Jefferson's evil, how can they remain Democrats? The people who defended segregation in the U.S. Senate in the 50s, every single one of them was a Democrat and that's why this whole thing is crazy,” he said.
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