The federal government remains shutdown as President Trump holds the country hostage in a bid to secure funding for his proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico. This despite the fact that the facts and data (and public opinion) are against the concept. If this whole situation has seemed too strange even for fiction, well it actually was fiction, as the whole thing was predicted long ago by 1950s television.
Trackdown, an old western series that aired on CBS, featured in 1958 an episode entitled “The End of the World”, where a con man named “Walter Trump” convinces the town of Talpa that the world will come to an end unless they let him build a border wall. Only in his version, it’s not illegal immigrants pouring over a country border, but a meteorite barreling towards Earth.
The snake-oil salesman, portrayed by actor Lawrence Dobkin, resembles his real-life namesake in both motive and mannerisms (at one point in the episode he responds to a threat with the retort “be careful son, I can sue you”). However, Trump’s plot to trick the people of Talpa is foiled by the show’s main character, ranger Hoby Gilman (played by Robert Culp). Of course, real life hasn’t paralleled that aspect of the story — yet.
You can see the eerily familiar scenes for yourself below.
If you believe the similarities seem too on the nose to be real, Snopes has fact-checked the validity of the clip. Let’s hope reality continues to follow the same arc as the episode, and our current political story ends with the lines, “You’re under arrest Trump.”
Watch the full Trackdown episode in question below.