Trackdown Trump: Did a 1958 TV Show Predict Trump?
Did a 1950s-era movie or TV show feature a character named Trump who offered to
build a protective wall?
CLAIM: An episode of the 1950s western TV series Trackdown featured a
snake oil salesman named Trump who promised to build a wall in order to prevent
the end of the world.
SNOPES: The fact-finding service rates this claim "True" (and it's very easy to
verify yourself, while being entertained and bemused, by watching it online).
The 1958 episode of Trackdown titled "The End of the World" features a
con man named Trump. It can be viewed on YouTube. Just do a YouTube or Google
search for "Trackdown Trump" and look for a clip of the full show, which is
22:59 minutes long with the commercials removed.
Snopes rates the claim "True" because the episode is not only very real, but can
still be viewed. What is positively eerie is how
EXACTLY the wall-building Donald Trump has followed the script
of the seemingly prophetic TV show. CBS News mentioned the "eerie parallels" in
its recent article on the subject. Here is a synopsis of the basic plot (more
details will follow for those intrigued enough to keep reading):
Trump shows up claiming to have a profound message.
Only he knows the "truth," and only he can "save" the people.
Trump warns frightened people that the end of the world is imminent.
Trump offers to "save" them by building a wall that
only he knows how to build.
If the wall is not built, it will be the "end of the world."
If they don't do as he says, death is unavoidable. (DJT threatened "lots of death"
if his wall doesn't get built.)
Trump is obviously a con man, yet gullible people believe and flock after him
like witless sheep.
The citizens flock to the square—"Like sheep they ran towards the
slaughterhouse," the narrator explains.
Trump's wall will be a wall of magical parasols. Very
expensive magical parasols.
The threat is comets that only Trump's magical parasols can repel.
To prove the "danger," Trump points up at the heavens and the people imagine
they see comets.
Trump is opposed by a diligent lawman (played by an actor named Robert).
Trump threatens to sue the lawman (just as DJT has threatened to sue another
lawman named Robert).
The lawman saves the day by arresting Trump for grand theft and fraud.
Trump is shot by an accomplice during the arrest.
Only then do the people realize that they've been duped by Trump's "wall."
The townspeople are shown evidence that persuades them to discard their not-so-magical parasols.
The world does not come to an end and they finally return to their senses.
Since Donald Trump has been following the script, hopefully he will be arrested
for grand theft and fraud, never to be heard from again. Does the Trackdown
"End of the World" episode "prophesy" that Donald Trump will end up being
arrested for grand theft and fraud, which the lawman equated with lying? If
Donald Trump is arrested due to the efforts of another Robert—Robert Mueller—it
seems there would be a good case for saying so. But will Americans "wise up" to
Donald Trump and his peculiar brand of snake oil? Perhaps it's up to us to write
the "real" ending.
Did Walter Trump Die?
A representative for MeTV, a Chicago network that airs reruns of Trackdown,
confirmed that the episode was real. The rep said that after Hoby Gilman tells
Walter Trump that he is under arrest, Trump gets shot by another character [his
accomplice] and may have been killed.
We know that Trump is out of commission at the end of the episode. He has been
exposed as a fraud. It is not clear if he is dead, or just incapacitated.
Walter Trump Sounds Exactly Like Donald Trump
This quote from the show sounds EXACTLY like Donald Trump: "I am the only one.
Trust me. I can build a wall around your homes that nothing will penetrate. You
ask how do you build that wall. You ask, and I'm here to tell you."
The difference is that when we watch the TV show, we know Walter Trump is a con
man, but when many Americans listen to Donald Trump, they think he's telling the
History of the Episode
"The End of the World" episode was broadcast on May 9, 1958. It was written by
John Robinson, who apparently used actual Texas Ranger reports about western con
men in his research. Trackdown as a series followed the adventures of a
Texas Ranger as he "travels the Old West tracking down assorted killers, bank
robbers, horse thieves and other evildoers," according to IMDb.
In the 30th episode of Trackdown the con man Walter Trump is played by
Lawrence Dobkin. Dobkin had appeared in The Sweet Smell of Success the
previous year, perhaps another parallel to Donald Trump, who made a lot of money
before offering to save the world by building a fabulously expensive wall.
The only person who doubts Trump and stands up to him is a Texas Ranger named
Hoby Gilman (played by Robert Culp).
The video went viral when Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch tweeted this along
with a link to a clip: "What the fresh hell. This is REAL. Filmed in 1958 about
a conman who grifts a small town of suckers into building a wall. History not
subtle enough for you? GUESS THE GRIFTER'S NAME (And watch until the end)!"
Parallels Between Walter Trump and Donald Trump
At the end of the episode, as Walter Trump tries to depart from the town, he's
arrested and then shot by an accomplice.
It remains to be seen if Donald Trump will be arrested, then "taken out" either
literally or metaphorically by an accomplice (Michael Cohen or Michael Flynn,
The narrator says of Walter Trump: "The people were ready to believe. Like sheep
they ran to the slaughterhouse. And waiting for them was the High Priest of Fraud."
Donald Trump won the votes of 80% of evangelical Christians, but has been
accused of running a fraudulent "charity," a fraudulent "university," and now a
fraudulent federal government "administration."
Walter Trump appears in the guise of a "wise man" with religious trappings such
as white robes with arcane symbols.
Donald Trump tries to come off as a "Christian" by waving his Bible around, but
he has obviously never read it, and certainly doesn't live by it.
Walter Trump offers to build a wall of magical parasols (fancy umbrellas).
Apparently, Donald Trump has come up with a similar nonsensical "solution."
Experts say his wall or fence will not protect Americans from drugs or
terrorism. In fact, as a recent photograph demonstrated, Donald Trump's "steel
slat fence" can be sliced through with an inexpensive saw purchasable at any
Home Depot! Furthermore, drugs, money and weapons can easily be slipped through
the gaps between the slats.
Walter Trump, a confidence man, puts on a long robe and holds a tent meeting in
the town of Talpa. He tells the townspeople that only he can save them from
Ironically "tapla" means "mole" and there is a video of border patrol
agents showing Trump pictures of tunnels beneath fences that already exist. So
his "salvation" won't work because anyone with a shovel can dig under the fence,
anyone with a saw can cut through it, anyone with a boat can sail around it, and
anyone with a ladder, plane or helicopter can go over it.
Walter Trump threatens to sue Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman (played by Robert Culp),
the only person who openly doubts and opposes him.
Donald Trump has threatened to sue Robert Mueller, the lawman who doubts and
Walter Trump dupes frightened citizens into forking over cash to start paying
for the wall, and some even team up to rob a bank.
Donald Trump dupes frightened citizens into paying an estimated $40-$60 billion
for his wall.
Walter Trump said: "I am the only one. Trust me. I can build a wall around your
homes that nothing will penetrate. You ask how do you build that wall. You ask,
and I'm here to tell you."
Donald Trump has said the same things, sometimes in virtually the same words.
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