A recently unearthed CBS Western called Trackdown foreshadowed the rise of Trump with eerie accuracy. The show, which aired for two seasons from 1957 to 1959, featured a Texan narrator who brought good-natured Texas Ranger Hobey Gilman to American living rooms.
The Trump episode aired in 1958 with the prescient title “The End Of The World.” In it, a con man named Walter Trump—referred to throughout as “Trump”—comes to town touting a genius idea to save everyone from the coming apocalypse. The plan that he says only he can institute is to build a wall around the town.
Luckily, hero Hobey Gilman is immediately suspicious of Trump and begs others to do something. The episode ends when Hobey steps in and arrests Trump for “stealing,” even though Trump doesn’t steal anything at all. Rather, Hobey says, Trump deserves jail purely for the stunt he was trying to pull on the town, and any old auspice is good enough. You can watch highlights of the episode and then spend the remainder of the afternoon weeping for the American experiment.