In a stunning turnaround (for all), Donald Trump won the presidential election last Tuesday and will be the 45th President of the United States from January 20, 2017. After a decidedly disputed election period, not to say frighteningly low, the news was received with such a surprise that even Tim Cook felt compelled to distribute a memo to all Apple employees around the world.
The memo, obtained by the BuzzFeed News, can be read below (our translation):
I heard from many of you today about the presidential election. In a political dispute where the candidates were so different and each received a similar amount of popular votes, it is inevitable that the result will leave many of you with strong feelings.
We have a very diverse team of employees, including supporters of both candidates. Regardless of which candidate each of us personally supported, the only way to move forward now is to do it together. I remember one thing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, 50 years ago: “If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you must keep moving forward. ” This timeless advice is a reminder that we only do a good job and improve the world moving forward.
Even though we are discussing today some uncertain things ahead, you can trust that Apple's guiding star hasn't changed. Our products connect people around the world and provide the tools necessary for our customers to do incredible things to improve their lives and the world as a whole. Our company is open to everyone, and we celebrate the diversity of our team here in the United States and around the world regardless of how they look, where they come from, who they reverence or who they love.
I always saw Apple as a big family and I encourage you to talk to your colleagues if they are feeling anxious.
Let's move on together!
While not mentioning Trump by name, Apple's (and Cook's) attitude of putting itself in a field opposite to the views and actions of the future president is quite clear. And no wonder: in at least two different ways, Trump represents a serious antagonism to Ma, its operations around the world and its own philosophy.
I use both iPhone & Samsung. If Apple doesn't give info to authorities on the terrorists I'll only be using Samsung until they give info.
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2016
Boycott all Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple from Cal
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2016
First of all, apart from Trump's protectionist and anti-globalist views, the Republican has already entered into raids directly with Apple. At the time of Ma's dispute with the FBI, the businessman came out in defense of the agency, calling for a boycott of Cupertino products until the company created the so-called “GovtOS” that would allow the US government to access blocked iPhones without distinction.
On another occasion, Trump promised that he would make Apple manufacture its "damn computers and things" in the US which, despite understandable intentions, certainly represents a threatening economic strategy for Cook and his gang.
On a deeper level, considering that Trump's positions on social issues are strongly opposed to the philosophy long cultivated by Apple, a company, let us remember, founded by two hippies pacifists and proponents of the barrier-free world. The comments of the future president, some of them extremely misgynic and / or toxic to racial minorities and LGBTQ is, incidentally, of which Cook himself is a part, are implicitly repudiated in the CEO's memo, which insists on keeping the character receptive and understanding of Apple even in times of uncertainty.
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Times of uncertainty, incidentally, which are reflected in the Silicon Valley as a whole. Some leading figures in the technological field, like Shervin Pishevar (co-founder of the Hyperloop project), are rehearsing to support a separatist movement in California Calexit? Califrexit? Caleavefornia? The richest state in the USA argues that it will develop better if it separates itself from the country, a bizarre that we even have experience here in Brazil (although with opposite political motives).
1 / If Trump wins I am announcing and funding a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation.
– Shervin (@shervin) November 9, 2016
Actions are certainly thought of in the heat of the moment that show that, although a (now impossible) Hillary government was very far representing something good from a global perspective, would certainly maintain a status quo in which Apple and Silicon Valley sit comfortably. On the other hand, Trump's victory brings a series of uncertainties that concerns, a lot, Cook and the other leaders of the Valley, for a number of reasons.
Opinions of leading figures, fearful that the Trump gesture will hinder innovation and technological progress, have already begun to emerge from major publications related to the subject. The technology columnist at New York Times Farhad Manjoo says that "Trump's immigration plans are an anthem for any company in the industry." The Republican's views absolutely opposed to net neutrality also motivated criticisms, for example, of the Washington Post.
In what Trump sees, during his tenure, to do all that he promises after all, he will be president and not the monarch. The awareness, however, that there are in a universe of almost 150 million voters, people who agree with their views enough to elect him, at least, something to reflect on. Let us see what the next four years await us.
(via The Verge)