Ahead of the 2016 election, those of us not in the know were introduced to a number of Trump's eponymous products. Now, Trump.dating—a dating site for Trump supporters and fans—has joined the ranks of Trump steaks, wines, and chandeliers. The site uses a riff on Trump's campaign slogan for its own tagline: Make Dating Great Again! and promises to help you "find the America first partner of your dreams."
So far, not so good.
The site came under fire when it first launched for allowing users to list their relationship status as "Happily Married" or "Unhappily Married." And during the sign-up process, users can choose from only two options to complete the sentence "I am a:" Straight Woman or Straight Man.
If you think that's awkward, there's more: The image of a convicted sex offender was used on the Trump.dating homepage to tout successful MAGA (or MADA?) matches.
Married couple Barrett (also known as Brett) and Jodi Riddleberger were shown hugging, smiling, and sporting matching MAGA hats in a photo that appears to have been removed from the site. That might have something to do with controversy stirred up by criminal charges that have recently resurfaced from Barrett's past.
According to the Greensboro News and Record, in 1995 he was convicted of taking "indecent liberties with a minor" after videotaping himself having sex with a 15-year-old girl. He was 25 at the time.
When the records were uncovered and he was contacted for comment, Barrett told North Carolina's WRAL News, "I've already paid my debt for something I did 25 years ago."
Barrett's conviction was originally brought back to light in 2014 during a since-settled defamation case where the plaintiffs were the Riddlebergers and other members of Conservatives for Guilford County, a group Jodi co-founded, and in which Barrett has actively participated for years now.
Unlike Trump's other eponymous products and services, the "safe dating space" for his supporters is free to sign up. The quick registration (remember, there's only two identities to choose from!) leads to a simple, but lengthy profile set-up. The personal description categories are many: marital status (now expanded to include "single-never married"), body type (can be anything from "muscular" to "average" to "few extra pounds"), hair color, smoking habits, education, existing kids, job, and plans for kids.
And that's only half of what's available. The other categories include things like ethnicity, religion, and something called "political view," which seems redundant, but perhaps not? Users can leave any number of these categories "undisclosed"—in that case, their uploaded photo will have to speak for itself.
Once users start browsing, if they find someone they like, they can send a message, add to favorites, wink for free, or request a meet-up. And in case they run into issues, users can also block each other.
Oh, did we mention the logo for the site features Trump's signature yellow hair piece flowing atop the "T"? Yep.