Glenn Beck delivered a fiery closing keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), comparing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump to the “Arthur Slugworth” character from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and claiming that the Industrial Revolution “was born” in the United States due to the Constitution.
Beck opened his speech by recounting the story of the 1971 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s famous children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
He paid special attention to the film’s villainous businessman Arthur Slugworth, who approached the main character Charlie Bucket after the boy had won his golden ticket to enter Wonka’s chocolate factory. Slugworth offered Charlie money if the boy would steal for him a new candy from the factory.
“In Roald Dahl’s world, whenever you get a golden ticket, a Slugworth always shows up,” Beck explained.
“Whenever you are given that one thing that you want — the freedom, the thing that you hoped and wished for, the thing that represents magic — a Slugworth is always there,” Beck said, describing the villain as “the businessman with a wry smile and pockets full of cash there to tempt Charlie, offering to buy the boy’s virtue – a chance to double your good fortune and exploit the opportunity that fate has given him.”
Beck would later make his analogy of Trump to Slugworth implicit by saying, “We cannot lose [the conservative] movement to a hostile take over by a charming Slugworth with pockets full of cash.”
When he asked the audience, “What is your golden ticket?” someone in the crowd shouted, “Ted Cruz!”
Beck smiled at the response, but made clear that he sees the Constitution as the “golden ticket.” He went so far as to claim that the Industrial Revolution started in the United States as a direct result of the U.S. Constitution.
From the dawn of man until 1780, the advance of human progress was almost imperceptible. Key measures like life expectancy, household income, total wealth, starvation rates, infant mortality rates – for tens of thousands of years, to measure those you could only measure them over centuries because they never moved. But then what happened from 1790 onward? Human progress – human progress began to accelerate at an exponential rate. The Industrial Revolution was born here. America became the technology and production engine of the world here! Why? What happened in America? It was the Constitution of the United States of America! It was equal justice for all men! This is our golden ticket!
Contrary to Beck’s claims, the Industrial Revolution actually began in the United Kingdom, starting in the 1760s, and was directly attributable to sound British economic policies, the ingenuity of British industrial entrepreneurs, and the technological advances made by British subjects, like for example, Sir Richard Arkwright, known as “the Father of the Industrial Revolution,” who developed the modern factory system; or Englishman Edmund Cartwright who invented the power loom; or the Scottish inventor James Watts, who in 1763 began making improvements to the practical steam engine first devised by the English inventor Thomas Newcomen in 1712. The Watts steam engine, which led to advances in steam-powered machinery, trains, and ships, was integral to the expansion of the Industrial Revolution that started first in Great Britain and then spread to the rest of the world, including the United States.
Beck, however, asserted that: “The day our Constitution was ratified, America rose like a rocket. It took off for all the world to see and carried the rest of humanity with us.”
“Individual liberty and a government prevented by law from interfering with us – this is what made America great, and it is the only thing that can make America great again,” Beck said.
“If the goal truly is to make America great again, the one thing we do not need more of is a government deal or a government program,” he said.
Watch Beck’s full speech below: