Burying the dead: Trump, Apple and Aristotelian logic

“Aristotle Tutoring Alexander” (1895) by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris.

“Aristotle Tutoring Alexander” (1895) by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris.

What a week it’s been for illogic in the power game men play.

Donald Trump was miffed – though apparently only temporarily – by Pope Frankie’s smackdown. And Apple was miffed by the government’s demand that it unlock the encrypted iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. (I love how these terrorists are always so “oppressed.” And yet, they can afford iPhones.)

But first, follow Pope Francis’ thinking:

To be a Christian is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Jesus preached compassion and inclusion.

Donald “We’re going to build a great, big, beautiful wall” Trump is about exclusion.

Therefore, Donald Trump is not a Christian in the truest sense of the word.

It’s merely an Aristotelian syllogism – perfect in its construction. (Gotta love the Jesuits, who count Pope Francis among their numbers.) Plus, props to Pope Frankie for working Aristotle into the discussion. One doubts that the Donald has read Aristotle and his thoughts on the “political animal.”

Still, it’s been a tough time for Aristotelian types. First, the Donald, as I said. Then, Apple, run by nerd boys with apparently zero social intelligence and understanding of American law, let alone reality.

The heart of Apple’s argument centers on the right to privacy. But dead people have no right to privacy, because they are – wait for it – dead. Even if the “conversations’ on the phone are held to be private, they cannot continue in the present or the future, because the people who held those conversations are….dead.

As to the hooey that first the government takes the terrorists’ phones and then yours, here’s the analogy:  We are staying in a hotel in which a bank robber is holed up in Room 428. The police have a warrant to arrest him. They arrive at the hotel and seek out the proprietor.  Does the proprietor escort them to your room? No, because the police have a warrant for the bank robber and Room 428.

Your phone and your privacy are safe, because you’re not a terrorist and you’re not – yes, you guessed it – dead.

In the immortal, less-than-greeting-card words of Jesus, whom politicians in the U.S. are so fond of quoting, “Let the dead bury the dead.” (Bet they never heard that one.)

The folks at Apple could be charged with being accessories after the fact or obstruction of justice (though I doubt it. The government just wants their cooperation on national security.)

But hey, at least they’re not dead.