There is a new sheriff in town.

6 May

This is a particularly American idiom, applicable during moments of power transition, particularly when they are changing the way things are done, or when a new person takes control.

The archetypal formulation of this, the situation typically invoked, is a Wild West situation (something like the movie Tombstone) where the previous law enforcement was lax and allowed criminals to do what they will. The new sheriff, by contrast, has a strong moral code and the means to act on it.

“There’s a new sheriff in town” is often used as a statement of intention: corruption will be swept away, the rule of law will be strengthened, and the old ways are over.

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