Unless you have small children or are the most completist Mandy Moore fan, you might not be familiar with the Disney Junior cartoon Sheriff Callie’s Wild West. The show, as the title would suggest, is about a wild west sheriff named Callie, a calico cat, and her animal friends living—and learning—in the small town of Nice and Friendly Corners. It’s all lessons for little kids and lots of singing and is largely adorable and innocent.
Until this episode knocked me on my ass with its terrible prophetic depiction of the presidential election, which took place one day after the episode aired.
The episode starts with the townspeople excited for Election Day, which should be a wonderful day with an expected outcome, given the female candidate is an experienced and qualified individual.
But then a mean dog with bad hair makes a bombastic and distracting entrance.
He announces his candidacy for sheriff, to the response of “But you’re a rustler!” For those of us who only know Rustlers as jeans sold at Kmart, they are actually cattle thieves. So a lawbreaking bad man with bad hair who steals from people. Gotcha. Check, check, check, and check.
He makes a series of impossible but appealing promises…
While his band of thieves rig the ballot box.
mpsty Rusty wins by a wide (OK, unanimous) margin, the townspeople are shocked. Sheriff Callie promises to concede if the election was fair. Then, he throws her in jail.
He immediately begins changing laws to suit his interests.
And the interests of his cronies.
Despite the existing laws or established norms.
Also, he surrounds himself with yes-men who are utterly incompetent.
And he instantly threatens action against anyone who speaks out against him.
After a brief stop in the goddamn woods…
Sheriff Callie is busted out and returns to town to save the day. After a recount, it’s discovered she was the true winner of the election, and Trusty Rusty and his accomplices are sent to jail. Because this is a Disney show and children can’t be subjected to a reality where the bad hair bad man is the ongoing leader.
Lesson: STAY CHILDREN FOREVER.