As President Trump and Democrats feud over funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a clip from the 1950s television series "Trackdown" that captured eerie parallels between the show and reality resurfaced. In the episode titled "The End of the World," a sketchy salesman by the name of Walter Trump pitches the idea of building a giant wall, claiming it would protect townspeople from a catastrophic cosmic event.
On Wednesday, "Gravity Falls" creator Alex Hirsch tweeted a part of the episode and it went viral. But it wasn't the first time the video made the rounds. Snopes reported on the authenticity of the clip in 2017 after a portion of the show was uploaded to YouTube and claimed to have "predicted Donald Trump."
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) pic.twitter.com/6FA3p6KC00 — Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) January 9, 2019
CBS News confirmed with its internal archival department that the episode aired on the network May 9, 1958. It was written by the late John Robinson, who's credited on 18 episodes in the "Trackdown" series, which follows 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 clip, Walter Trump, who is played by actor Lawrence Dobkin, claims he's the only one who can save the villagers from meteors by building a wall. Nearly everyone believes him, and fear grips the population. Trump threatens to sue Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman (played by Robert Culp), the only person who openly doubts him.
"I am the only one. Trust me. I can build a wall around your homes that nothing will penetrate," said Trump, whom the narrator describes as the "high priest of fraud." "You ask how do you build that wall. You ask, and I'm here to tell you."
Donning an emerald green graduation gown, Donald Trump stood grinning on the stage at Wagner College in Staten Island as a faculty member offered a glowing introduction in May 2004: “A New York original. Everyone knows something about him and everyone has an opinion concerning him,” the faculty member said.
Trump was there to give the commencement address to the class of 2004 and to accept an honorary doctorate of humane letters. He drew laughs from the crowd while describing his transition from real estate magnate to television celebrity — “I’m a star, and there’s nothing like it.” He took a half-baked stab at self-deprecation, joking that the Guinness Book of World Records “has me down as the greatest personal financial comeback of all time.” ....
“I’ll tell you, to me, the second-most important thing after love what you do is never, ever give up,” Trump told the students, motioning his hands and raising his index finger the same way he does at campaign rallies. “Don’t give up. Don’t allow it to happen. If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it. Go over it. Go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.”