tremendous content

Don Jr. Plays Incompetent Willy Wonka at CPAC

Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure exasperation. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images/]

It’s an awkward year for the Conservative Political Action Conference — with its leader accused of sexual assault and many likely presidential contenders steering clear of the event. During Donald Trump Jr.’s speech on Friday, he tried to bring some magic back to CPAC with a stunt pulled straight from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

“There’s a little surprise for all of you,” Don Jr. told the audience. “Check under your seats. If there happens to be a gold chocolate bar underneath there, that’s a VIP. Oh, I’m not joking! That’s a VIP ticket to my father’s reception tomorrow at CPAC.”

Sure enough, there were actual golden candy bars tucked under some of the seats.

But the stunt ultimately failed to bring any mirth to CPAC, as Don Jr. is a poor excuse for Willy Wonka.

It seems like a role Donald Trump Sr. could be great at though. Slap your name on a bunch of products. (Check.) Engage in mysterious and possibly unethical business practices. (Done.) Make gold a key part of your brand. (Yes.) Create a competition that gives the public a chance to get a taste of your lavish lifestyle, identify each contestant’s greatest weakness, then use that to destroy them in a humiliating fashion. (Absolutely. That was the premise of The Apprentice.)

But in this CPAC speech, as in life, Don Jr. displays many of his dad’s most awful qualities and none of his charm — and that’s a big problem if you’re playing Willy Wonka. As the blog Film School Rejects observes, Gene Wilder’s performance in the iconic 1971 film is “eccentric and sinister,” hiding the character’s “true intentions behind a facade of charming cruelty.” At CPAC, Don Jr. was just sinister.

He joked that audience members searching for tickets under empty seats were “ballot harvesting,” quipping, “What are you, Democrats?” Then he suggested that Republicans should fight back by engaging in shady election practices themselves. He went on to accuse Democrats of advocating for “ten-month abortions.”

And worst of all, he attacked John Fetterman, who has auditory-processing issues after a stroke and is now hospitalized for depression, as he derisively insisted that he’s not “ableist.” Don Jr. called the senator a “vegetable” who may be fit to be a “bag guy at a grocery store,” then asked, “Is it unreasonable for me to expect, as a citizen of the United States of America, to have a United States senator have basic cognitive function?”

The grand prize in Willy Wonka’s contest was inheriting his chocolate factory. Don Jr.’s gold chocolate bars came with VIP tickets to his father’s reception at CPAC on Saturday. If Don Jr. wanted to make things interesting, he should’ve given each ticket holder a chance to fight him for his slice of the Trump Organization.

Ultimately, this incident just proved that Don Jr. is not a worthy successor to either his dad or Willy Wonka. But there is a Trump family member who is eccentric, a little sinister, and knows how to make a gold-based marketing gimmick work: Don Jr.’s fiancée, Kimberly Guilfoyle.

I can hear it now: “Who can take your savings, dip them in a dream, separate the sorrow, and collect up all the cream? Kimberly can!” Cause she mixes it with lunacy and makes the scam seem good.

More tremendous content

See All
Don Jr. Plays Incompetent Willy Wonka at CPAC