Today, the founder and former CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, passed away at the age of 77 after what appears to be complications from a head contusion he suffered last week. This has sent shocks waves across social media by both those who adored him and those who did not. While most people know of Ailes because of his connections to Fox News and the TV network, he actually has had tremendous experience and influence within politics.
Those on the left look at Ailes as a very controversial figure — someone who they believe has spread hate and bigotry across America. Some say he was the one who started “hyper-partisan” television, where the media actually takes sides. When it comes down to it though, whether you like him or not, you have to admit that he was a very powerful political figure — perhaps not exactly what you want in a CEO of a TV news station though.
When you look back at his history and begin connecting some dots, you begin to realize that he represents somewhat of the imaginary line that connects former President Richard Nixon to current President Donald Trump. While the Democrats talk about Trump potentially being the first President to step down or be kicked out of office since Nixon, one has to wonder if perhaps this could be linked to some of the same right-wing views that Ailes was known for.
RollingStone today published an article calling Ailes “one of the worst Americans ever”, claiming he is responsible for making this country “hate-filled” and “moronic”. How ironic since many people feel the same way about Donald Trump.
Back to connecting the dots between Nixon and Trump; Ailes worked as a media consultant for Richard Nixon during his presidency, and some people say that his influence may be part of the issues that led to Nixon’s ultimate demise. Here we are, over 40 years since Nixon resigned, and one of the biggest reasons Trump was elected president can be attributed to advice he took from Roger Ailes. Ailes was a key component in Trump’s preparation for the many debates he took part in during his campaign. Ailes worked as an adviser to the presidential hopeful at the time.
It’s Ailes’ ideologies that ultimately helped Trump win the election, as apparently a good portion of America (although less than 50% based on popular vote) hold these same ideologies as Ailes did and Trump does. Those ideologies can be viewed as sexist, racist, and ultra-conservative by some, or simply just “conservative” to those who follow along.
Some of Ailes’ ideologies probably transferred to Nixon, and ultimately led to him resigning from office. The question remains though; if these ideologies passed on from people like Ailes to Donald Trump, will this also lead to Trump’s demise. Only time will tell, but regardless, the ideologies are part of what has caused American political views to become so divided over the years.