Policy isn’t Donald Trump’s strong suit, but he sure does know how to rile up a crowd. And that’s exactly what he tried to do at a rally in South Carolina last month when he called for his fans to “boycott Apple” until the company is willing to help the FBI unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
Of all Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks, this one was the hardest to take seriously. Hours after he gave his impassioned plea, Trump was caught tweeting from an iPhone. Earlier this week, several tweets from his account were sent from an iPhone again.
Considering the fact that Trump can’t even stick to his own boycott, it’s hard to take it too seriously, but nevertheless, Time decided to ask Tim Cook about it in its recent exhaustive interview with the Apple CEO.
“When Donald Trump calls for a boycott of Apple products, do you think that’s because he doesn’t understand the arguments that you’re making?” asked Time.
This was Cook’s response:
“I haven’t talked to him so I don’t know what he thinks. The way I look at it is, Apple is this great American company that could have only happened here. And we see it as our responsibility to stand up on something like this and speak up for all these people that are thinking what we’re thinking but don’t have the voice.
We don’t see it as our role as the decision maker. We understand Congress sets laws. But we [see] it as our role not to just let it happen. I mean too many times in history has this happened, where the government over reached, did something that in retrospect somebody should have stood up and said ‘Stop.’
We see that this is our moment to stand up and say ‘Stop.’ And force a dialogue. And that dialogue may, I don’t know how it’ll go. I’m optimistic. But I don’t know at the end of the day. But I see that as our role.”
Although not a direct response to Trump’s proposed boycott, it’s both a thoughtful and measured explanation of how Cook sees Apple’s role in this case and an interesting angle to take when asked a question dealing with the current Republican frontrunner.
If someone had stood up to Trump and said ‘Stop’ early on in the process, the Republican party might not be in the sticky situation it currently finds itself in.