It is no surprise that Republican nominee Donald J. Trump is, once again, a target of intense criticism and detestation from the American public and media. Surprisingly, this is not due to his apparent racist remarks, inappropriate banter or egotistical attitude. Recently, Trump appointed former CEO and chairman of Fox News Roger Ailes as a top adviser for his campaign.
On Sept. 6, Fox News’ parent company paid a$20 million settlement to former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson after her allegations of sexual harassment against Ailes. According to The New York Times, evidence against Ailes includes recorded meetings between him and Carlson containing provocative content, as well as other women coming forward about his inappropriate behavior.
One would assume that a presidential candidate, fighting hard to win over American citizens and secure his spot as commander in chief, would want no affiliation with such a man as Roger Ailes. However, Trump, despite the amount of disrespect many have for Ailes, has made him a top debate advisor.
Why would Trump hire Ailes after the controversy surrounding him? It essentially all boils down to a mutually beneficial relationship between the two. Trum desperately needs to excel in the upcoming Sept. 26 presidential debate in order to get the upper hand against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. According to The Atlantic, Ailes was made famous from his work with Richard Nixon in 1968, turning him into a “television friendly” candidate. With Trump’s history in television debates being less than favorable, Ailes’ aid could help him present himself much more favorably to the American people. If Trump succeeds in this, redemption could be on the horizon for Ailes. Helping a candidate substantially improve his television and interview reputation will more than likely bring Ailes’ reputation back up.
It is exceedingly possible that this partnership could substantially help both parties involved. However, the debate will not occur for a few weeks, and the friendship between the two seems to be currently hurting the conservative candidate.
Trump has already been less favorable with women voters, and appointing a man accused of sexual harassment as a top campaign adviser will only decrease his female voter percentage further.
Trump has already been highly criticized on social media for his decision. Posts range from political cartoons showing distaste for the candidate to a tweet by NARAL, which stated “Roger Ailes is advising @realDonaldTrump. Yep. Seriously. Him.”
It also raised in question his moral beliefs on issues such as sexual harassment. Voters should not want a president who treats these types of problems haphazardly.
As to whether choosing Ailes as an adviser will ultimately hurt or help Trump’s campaign is up in the air. It could really go one way or the other. Currently, I feel it is really hurting his reputation. However, if Trump does well in the debate, I can see his success highly overriding his mistake in the minds of many Americans. People always love a good redemption story.