It’s tough out there for Trump supporters trying to date. I mean, what are the odds that someone who backs a president with 42.1 percent approval rating will be able to find a compatible partner?
The Trump Dating site is here to help.
“Dating in 2018 is more of a challenge than ever before, thanks in part to today’s polarizing political landscape,” the site notes. “While searching for a potential partner on other dating sites, it’s not uncommon to see messages like ‘No Trump supporters’ or ‘proud liberal.’ We’re wrecking the dating game and giving like-minded Americans a chance to meet without the awkwardness that comes with the first conversation about politics. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to already know your date roots for the same team?”
It’s only fitting that the poster couple for the self-described “specialized dating site” administered by Friends Worldwide is Barrett and Jodi Riddleberger, who helped found the tea party-inspired Conservatives for Guilford County political action committee, or C4GC. Among the many candidates C4GC helped elect was US Rep. Mark Walker, formerly as associate pastor at Lawndale Baptist Church, where members of the PAC met.
C4GC pioneered at a local level in Guilford County the kind of divisive intraparty bloodletting in 2010 that Trump took national with his hostile takeover of the GOP in 2016. A photo of Barrett wearing a backwards red “Trump” hat and Jodi wearing a pink “Make America Great Again” headpiece occupies a prominent place at the top of the page. Like the president they love, the Riddlebergers never let personal embarrassments dampen the righteous tenor of their politics.
Likewise, the Riddlebergers provided a textbook example of how political ambitions and paranoia can result in self-inflicted wounds that Trump would probably appreciate. When the Riddlebergers’ friend, Jeff Hyde, ran for chairman of the Guilford County GOP in 2011, concerned associates worried that his candidacy would be torpedoed by revelations about Barrett Riddleberger’s past conviction of indecent liberties with a child, stemming from a videotape of him having sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 25. Most journalists would have hesitated to break the story considering that Barrett Riddleberger was a private citizen and not running for office himself. They didn’t have to: Convinced that Greensboro City Councilwoman (now mayor) Nancy Vaughan had unearthed Barrett’s conviction and passed it on to “GOP establishment friends” so they could leak it to the media and torpedo Hyde’s candidacy, Jodi referenced the “incident” on Facebook. The unfounded and disputed allegation against Vaughan forced the episode into the public.
Barrett Riddleberger declined to comment for this story.
Hyde, for his part, dealt with the fallout by casting aspersions against imagined persecutors, writing: “I believe in the ‘transformative power’ of Jesus Christ. Non-Christians do not seem to understand this power.”
With the photo of the Riddlebergers as the most prominently placed image on the site, Trump Dating also portrays two other couples, both white and heterosexual. Newsweek has identified the second photo as portraying Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, a former chief of staff of the US Air Force and currently dean of the Bush School of Governance and Public Services.
Unfortunately, the invitation to “make dating great again” with a “pro-Trump match” isn’t extended to everyone. The registration options for the site are limited to “straight man” and “straight woman.” Too bad for Peter Boykin, founder of Gays for Trump and organizer of the March 4 “March4Trump” in Washington.
That must be lonely.
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