Yesterday, Trump visited a six year old factory where Mac Pros are being assembled, and Tim Cook appeared in a Trump campaign ad.
After Mr. Trump departed the factory, he tweeted, “Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America.”
About the only thing that’s true in this tweet is that the factory is located in Texas. First, Trump didn’t open the factory – it’s been in use for six years now. Second, it’s not major at all – it only assembles the Mac Pro with about 500 employees. Third, it won’t bring any jobs back because it’s been open for six years already. Lastly, it isn’t an Apple factory – it’s owned by another, independent company.
Cook stood next to him, and didn’t correct Trump at all.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump called Mr. Cook a “very special person” because of his ability to create jobs. He turned to Mr. Cook and said, “What would you say about our economy compared to everybody else?”
Mr. Cook replied, “I think we have the strongest economy in the world.”
“Strongest in the world,” Mr. Trump said.
The president then took questions on the impeachment inquiry and launched into a tirade against “the fake press.” Mr. Cook stood silently nearby.
I’ve been on board with Cook’s stance on engaging Trump. Participating in Trump’s technology council does not imply support for Trump. Engaging Trump personally, in private phone calls and dinners, does not imply support. But appearing alongside Trump at an Apple facility in a staged photo-op is implicit support for Trump and his re-election.[…]
A low moment in Apple’s proud history, and a sadly iconic moment for Tim Cook. I hope avoiding those tariffs is worth it.
History rarely bestows consequences on companies cooperating with the far right and nazi extremists. IG Farben’s directors were all released by the US within only a few years, and IG Farben still exists today in the form of several highly profitable companies, namely Agfa, BASF, Bayer and Sanofi.
Volkswagen was founded by a Nazi labour union, produced what would become the Beetle for Nazi Germany, built military vehicles during the war using 15.000 slaves from concentration camps, and still exists today as one of the biggest automobile conglomerates in the world.
IBM aided the Nazi regime in the organisation of the Holocaust, while in the US, it orchestrated the concentration camps where Japanese Americans were held. Meanwhile, Henry Ford’s antisemitism and nazi sympathies are well-documented, and Ford, too, is one of the largest automobile makers in the world.
Point is, there’s zero risk for Cook to openly associate himself with someone like Trump. Extremists will praise him, centrists will excuse it away, and the rest will condemn Cook, but keep buying iPhones and Macs anyway – and Tim Cook knows it.
In a corporatocracy, companies and their leaders are untouchable.