5 Reasons Andy Taylor May Have Been a Corrupt Sheriff
Andy Griffith passed away this week at the age of 86. Mr. Griffith was most famous for playing Andy Taylor, the wise and kind sheriff of the town of Mayberry. As I child, I watched every rerun of the Andy Griffith Show. EVERY rerun. Dozens of time. When you watch something as much as I watched TAGS, you start to notice things. Little things. Seemingly innocent things at first. But, as you put the pieces together, the truth, the real truth, in all its ugliness, comes out. Here is the evidence that I've collected to back up my contention that Sheriff Andy Taylor was every bit as corrupt a lawman as Sheriff Buford T. Justice in Smokey and the Bandit or Detective Alonzo Harris in Training Day.
1. He Regularly ran "Undesirables" out of mayberry.
I'm not talking about bank robbers and murderers here. I'm talking about those people on the fringes of society- hobos, gypsys, big city women without husbands (!), and "salesmen from up north" (Mayberry code for "Jews"). One episode, I remember well, involved a transient man named Dave, played by Buddy Ebsen, who befriends Opie. Dave encourages Opie to shirk his chores and go fishing instead. Sheriff Taylor soon tells Dave, whose only crime so far is being a homeless man, to leave Mayberry. Dave is later arrested for stealing Aunt Bea's pocket book, but the whole things stinks of a set-up by Sheriff Taylor, if you ask me.
2. (Very) Separate and(Very) Unequal
You know what you never see in Mayberry? Ethnicity. Of any kind. The show is set in North Carolina in the early 1960's. Records from that decade show that African-Americans made up over 30% of North Carolina's population. But you never see one single black person in Mayberry. Not at civic meetings, not in the outlying rural areas, not even passing through. It's fairly obvious that the town of Mayberry had a "whites only" policy. And who would be responsible for enforcing such a policy? Let's just say Aunt Bea probably had to wash and iron more white sheets than the ones that went on the beds.
3. He Lied About his "War Record"
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled on the "Stolen Valor Act" that would have made it a crime to lie or misrepresent one's military record. The Court ruled that lying about one's military record could not be considered a crime. However, it's a pretty despicable thing to do and plenty of politicians have had their careers ruined for lying about their service.
So how does this apply to Sheriff Andy Taylor? Here's an excerpt from his Wikipedia page:
In the first season episode number nine, "A Feud is a Feud", Andy mentions being in France during WWII. However, if Andy did indeed see France, he couldn't have seen action on a battlefield because he graduated Mayberry Union High in late spring 1945 and the war in Europe was over in May 1945. He also mentions being in France "during the war" in the episode, "Ellie Comes to Town".
So, as it turns out, Gomer Pyle was more of a war hero than Andy Taylor ever was. And the only action Gomer ever saw, at the height of the god-damned Vietnam War, was helping Corporal Boyle patch things up with his girlfriend.
4. Nepotism and Misuse of Power
Ever wonder how Barney Fife kept his job? He had to have been the worst deputy in the entire state. Sheriff Taylor didn't even trust him to carry a loaded weapon. Bootleggers, grifters and con-artists posing as FBI agents regularly carried out their misdeeds right under Barney's nose. By all logic, Deputy Fife should have been canned long ago. Good for him he was Sheriff Taylor's cousin! It's true. It was established in the pilot episode that Barney was not only Andy's best friend but also his cousin. Nepotism, as plain as the goofy hat on Goober's head.
And as for the misuse of power, what do you call letting the town drunk have his own keys to the Courthouse?Also, did you ever see Sheriff Taylor actually pay Floyd the Barber for a haircut? Something tells me Andy Taylor didn't have to pay for much in his perfect little all-caucasian totalitarian dystopia.
5. I think he may have killed opie's mother
I admit, I have no hard evidence to back this up. But, it's always seemed odd to me that Opie's mother is never mentioned! Seriously, it's like the woman just disappeared. Go ahead, take a look around Aunt Bea's house. You won't find any photographs or mementos of Opie's mother. It's almost like someone wanted to not only get rid of her, but also to erase any evidence that she ever existed. Also, you'll notice that Opie never, ever, ever mentions or asks any questions about his mother. He probably knows better. Why do you think Helen Crump and Miss Ellie tolerated the obvious two-timing that was going on? If you ask me, neither one of them wanted to end up being the next Ex-Mrs. Andy Taylor.