Sixty-year-old Tim Cook has been the CEO of Apple Inc. since 2011, when he filled the void left by the death of the company’s founder, Steve Jobs. In late 2011, Forbes magazine named Cook one of the “World’s Most Powerful People.” In 2012 he was the best-paid CEO among the heads of large publicly traded companies. Although his salary was about $900,000, Cook took in $378 million in total compensation from stock awards and bonuses.
With Cook at the helm, Apple came under legal scrutiny in 2013 for its practice of storing wealth overseas. That May, Cook testified before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which had recently completed a probe into how Apple avoided paying tens of billions of tax dollars by shifting its profits into Irish subsidiaries that the subcommittee’s chairman described as “ghost companies.” Denying that Apple was trying to circumvent U.S. tax laws, Cook asserted that his company was paying an effective tax rate that was among the highest of any major corporation: “We pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar. We do not depend on tax gimmicks…. We do not stash money on some Caribbean island.”
Cook’s public statements were undermined, however, when in 2017 the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung leaked the so-called “Paradise Papers” — a set of more than 13.4 million confidential electronic documents pertaining to offshore investments — which showed that Apple had arranged a sweetheart deal with the Republic of Ireland that allowed the company to pay a miniscule tax rate, sometimes as low as 0.005 percent, on its Irish assets.
On March 29, 2015, Cook wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he attacked the long-sacrosanct protections for religious freedoms included in the First Amendment:
“There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country. A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law.
“Others are more transparent in their effort to discriminate. Legislation being considered in Texas would strip the salaries and pensions of clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — even if the Supreme Court strikes down Texas’ marriage ban later this year. In total, there are nearly 100 bills designed to enshrine discrimination in state law.”
Cook has taken positions on various other political issues as well, that place him to the left side of the political spectrum.
For example, he supports Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a 2012 executive action through which then-President Barack Obama granted temporary work authorization as well as protection from deportation to illegal aliens who had been brought to the U.S. before they were 16 years of age. “The DACA situation is one that I am truthfully, as an American, deeply offended by,” Cook said in 2018. “The DACA situation is not an immigration issue. It’s a moral issue…. This is one that goes to the core of who we are as Americans. Who among us would think that it’s the right thing to do to kick somebody out of this country when they came here when they were 1, 2, 3 years old, that have only known this country as their home, that know no other country as their home? This just doesn’t make any sense.”
On December 3, 2018, Cook made a speech to the Anti-Defamation League in which he made clear his plan to censor conservative voices on the pretext that they foment misinformation, violence, hatred, division, and white supremacy. Exhorting his listeners “not to be bystanders as hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world,” Cook said: “We [at Apple] only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here. From the earliest days of iTunes to Apple Music today, we have always prohibited music with a message of white supremacy. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. And as we showed this year, we won’t give a platform to violent conspiracy theorists on the App Store. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.”
After the highly publicized death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, Cook became a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) the month after, Cook said that he understood not only the pain being experienced across America, “especially in our black and brown communities after the senseless killing of George Floyd,” but also motivations underlying the BLM protests that had swept the country. Asserting that Floyd’s death and the public reaction to it had caused Americans to “face longstanding institutional inequalities and social injustices,” Cook stated: “This country was founded on the principles of freedom and equality for all. For too many people, and for too long, we haven’t lived up to those ideas. This means taking action.”
In 2020 as well, Cook published a statement titled “Speaking Up On Racism,” on the Apple website, where he said:
“Right now, there is a pain deeply etched in the soul of our nation and in the hearts of millions. To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism.
“That painful past is still present today — not only in the form of violence, but in the everyday experience of deeply rooted discrimination…. We commit to continuing to fight the forces of environmental injustice — like climate change — which disproportionately harm Black communities and other communities of color. We commit to looking inward and pushing progress forward on inclusion and diversity, so that every great idea can be heard. And we’re donating to organizations including the Equal Justice Initiative, which challenge racial injustice and mass incarceration…. To the Black community — we see you. You matter and your lives matter.”
On June 11, 2020, Apple vowed to spend $100 million to challenge what Cook described as “systemic barriers that limit opportunity for communities of color in the critical areas of education, economic equality, and criminal justice.”
In a January 2021 interview with Fox News, Cook was asked to comment on Apple’s recent decision to suspend the social media platform Parler, which was a competitor to Facebook and Twitter, from its App Store. Because the suspension occurred shortly after a January 6 incident where several hundred people had swarmed into the Capitol building in Washington, ostensibly to protest what they viewed as an illegitimate presidential election in which Joe Biden had defeated Donald Trump, Cook’s implication was that Parler had been used by Trump supporters to organize and promote that event. Said Cook: “We looked at the incitement of violence that was on there. We don’t consider that free speech and incitement to violence has an intersection.”
Notably, Cook did not provide any examples of the purported incitement to violence to be found on Parler, nor was he asked why Apple’s App Store had not suspended either Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube when, throughout the spring and summer of 2020, so many Black Lives Matter supporters were clearly glorifying and inciting violent riots from those platforms. Moreover, on January 12, leftwing journalist Glenn Greenwald reported that of the thirteen people who had been arrested thus far for the breach at the Capitol, “none appear to be active users of Parler.” Rather, “The Capitol breach was planned far more on Facebook and YouTube.”
If the dictionary entry for “leftist” were to be accompanied by a picture, Tim Cook’s photo would be a suitable choice. He has thoroughly mastered the shallow, insipid arts of virtue signaling and moral preening, while adopting political positions rooted in the premise that America is a racist cesspool which must be fundamentally transformed into something less objectionable. Moreover, Cook views conservatives as little more than a pack of unschooled Neanderthals who must be censored and silenced by any means necessary.
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