The 1950s television series “Trackdown” accomplished an amazing feat of prognostication: In an episode called “End of the World”, a con-man named Trump attempts to convince a western town only he can protect them from a fake impending meteor shower — with a wall.
Snopes did the fact-checking legwork: In the episode, “Dr. Walter Trump, DU MC SSR” — or “Doctor of the Universe, Master of Cometry, Student of Stellar Reactions” — whips a western town into a frenzy by tricking its residents into believing they’ll be wiped out by a meteor shower before the day is done.
As protection, he sells parasols with drawn-on mystical symbols, calling them a “wall” that can magically repel danger.
Eerie references to current American politics abound:
“I bet it fits,” Gilman says at one point of the name “Trump.” Elsewhere, a judge warns the ranger: “I live here, I know these people pretty well, and right now there’s nothing in the world that can change their minds [about Trump] — and anybody who tries to could end up getting hurt. They’re not going to listen.”
During a speech to the townspeople, Trump claims he is the only one who can save them from impending doom:
“I am the only one! Just me! I can build a wall around your homes that nothing will penetrate,” Trump says.
“What do we do?” a someone asks. “How do we save ourselves?”
“You ask: How do you build that wall?” Trump responds. “You ask, and I’m here to tell you.”