Donald Trump's wall predicted in 1950s TV show Trackdown

Donald Trump next to a character from the CBS series Trackdown.
The show's character even bears the same name as the President. Photo credit: Twitter/File

The idea of building a border wall isn't exclusive to Donald Trump it seems, with the idea emerging in a 1950s television show.

The CBS series Trackdown featured an episode in 1958 called 'The End of the World' where a "conman" named Walter Trump warns a town that a border wall is needed or the world will come to an end.

The US President wants a border wall along Mexico's border with the United States to keep out illegal migrants. But Mr Trump's namesake in Trackdown, played by Lawrence Dobkin, implored the erection of a wall to protect the town from a meteorite.

In the episode, the show's main character, ranger Hoby Gilman, played by Robert Culp, suspects that Walter Trump is up to no good and calls him a "conman".

Another scene shows Walter Trump speaking to a crowd of people where he's trying to convince them of building the wall. "I am the only one, trust me," he says. 

The line is chillingly similar to Donald Trump's proclamation when he accepted the Republican presidential nomination: "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it."

Walter Trump adds in the scene, "I can build a wall around your homes that nothing will penetrate."

Again, the line is similar to Donald Trump's regular assertion, "We have to build the wall."

When ranger Gilman calls Walter Trump a liar in the scene, he responds by asking Gilman if he can deny that the meteorite is coming. It's similar to how Donald Trump hits back at opponents of his border wall by pushing the "crisis" narrative.

Addressing the nation on Tuesday (NZ time), the US President said there's a "growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border", as he attempted to rally support for border wall funding which has been challenged by Democrats. 

Similarities between Donald Trump and his namesake in the 1950s TV show have been highlighted on Twitter, with some pointing to the conman's use of the phrase, "I can sue you". 

The US President has a reputation for issuing threats to sue his opponents. British Prime Minister Theresa May revealed last year that Mr Trump advised her to "sue the European Union" rather than negotiate a Brexit deal. 

Connections have also been drawn between the character's conman reputation and Mr Trump. Three legal actions were brought against Mr Trump alleging fraud over Trump University. He agreed to pay US$25 million in 2016 to settle the litigation. 

The border wall is a campaign promise Mr Trump has frequently made to his supporters, claiming Mexico would pay for it. He's now requested US$5.6 billion to build 200 miles of new fencing along the 2000-mile border.

But Democrats, who now hold a majority of control in the House of Representatives, have refused to endorse his request, offering just US$1.3 billion for border security measures, including increased surveillance and fencing.

Mr Trump triggered a government shutdown after his negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer failed, and the shutdown remains.  


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