Even as someone who met his committed partner of six-and-a-half years on the internet, I find the concept of dating sites weird. (We didn’t meet on a dating site; we met on a hookup site, and just keep hooking up.) For one, they’re usually oriented toward straight people, who comprise 95 percent of the population and who can theoretically meet in many places without a particularly onerous burden placed upon them.
In any event, of course there’s like a billion dating sites now, most of them geared to some niche of the population whose members have a difficult time locating one another IRL, such as Christians. Over the weekend, we learned that there’s not one but two pro-Trump dating sites: TrumpSingles.com and Trump.dating. The first one looks a little more upscale, like a matchmakers bringing potential Javankas together. Its warm, affirming drop-down menus let you choose your gender and the gender of the Trumpster you want to rut with — i.e., homocons are welcome.
The other one is explicitly for heterosexuals — although you can choose whether you’re “happily married” or “unhappily married” — and it also used a picture of a dude with a 1995 felony conviction for “taking indecent liberties with a child.”
That is a tortured, tortured euphemism — can you imagine a murder being described as “exhibiting excessive casualness toward a human life”? — and I have a tough time not reading those words in a Foghorn Leghorn voice. Raleigh’s wral.com reports, emphasis ours:
Barrett and Jodi Riddleberger‘s smiles, beneath Trump campaign baseball caps, are the first thing greeting visitors at Trump.dating.
The Riddlebergers have been active in Guilford County Republican politics over the years. Jodi Riddleberger co-founded C4GC, Conservatives for Guilford County, and she and her husband have both donated money to the group. …
Barrett Riddleberger said in a text message Monday that the marital status issue was a mistake and was being fixed by a programmer. Just what role he and his wife have in the site is unclear. He offered to discuss the site with WRAL News, but only if the station promised to write about “the present, not the past.”
WRAL News would not agree to that. Riddleberger’s past includes a felony conviction for taking indecent liberties with a child in in 1995. The charge stemmed from his videotaping himself having sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 25, the Greensboro News & Record reported in 2014.
A North Carolina criminal history check Monday turned up no serious charges on Riddleberger’s record since then. He said he’s been married for 22 years.
“I’ve already paid my debt for something I did 25 years ago,” he said.
In other words, he’s a sex offender with a little more tech savvy than Roy Moore, and he’s not too ashamed to make himself the public face of a site that brings people together for a cause. That is unsurprising, because it’s the ethos of the Republican Party. And the homophobic policy ought to make the #gaysfortrump crowd upset — I mean, if they had any dignity whatsoever — but it probably won’t. They’d rather fight liberal gays than their glorious leader.
Needless to say, trump.dating banished the Riddlebergers to the Forbidden Zone and replaced them with a slightly older white couple who in all likelihood were grabbed from a stock photo silo. Although SF Weekly endeavors not to comment on women’s bodies or personal appearances in a gratuitous manner, journalistic thoroughness compels me to point out that this woman sort of looks like she has some partially treated cold sores on her upper lip.
I have to be charitable here and say I get why these sites exist. I would not want to be a conservative single in a place like the Bay Area. If you’re a Trump voter within four degrees of separation from me and you’re hungry for love, you’re going to face a level of ostracism and shunning that would make Hester Prynne feel like the guest of honor. Of course, the easy answer for these people would be “Change everything about yourself before attempting to market yourself as somehow desirable.” But then again, if you peacock around in the vein of President Grab’-Em, pretty much all of this was basically inevitable.