One of ex-President Donald Trump’s closest and youngest political advisors is developing The Right Stuff, a dating app for young right wingers looking for love in Trumpland.
It launches officially next month with $1.5 million in seed money from tech billionaire Peter Thiel.
Ryann McEnany — sister of ex-Trump White House press secretary and Fox News contributor Kayleigh McEnany — explains how it works in a YouTube video.
Like most dating apps, it has icebreaker questions for users to answer. But McEnany doesn’t show any questions about pets, favorite foods, ‘best vacations ever’ or beloved movie quotes.
Her demo shows The Right Stuff asking users for their “favorite liberal lie” and a “quick rant.” There’s also a fill-in-the-blank sentence that begins, “Alexa, change the….”
The woman in the video inserts the word “President.”
McEnany explains users must attach photos of themselves engaged in fun activities with family and “people you love.” The demo shows a young woman golfing as Trump leans over her, grinning and giving the thumbs-up sign.
“We’re sorry,” McEnany says to her unseen audience,
“that you’ve had to endure years of bad dates and wasted time with people who don’t see the world our way: the right way.”
The app was co-founded by three former Trump world figures, including John McEntee, a former Trump administration official The ABC News’ Jonathan Karl called “the man who made Jan. 6 possible.”
John McEntee managed Fox News social media accounts before he joined the Trump campaign in 2016. He was 29 in 2020 when Trump hired him as Office of Presidential Personnel director.
During his tenure, McEntee froze all political appointments in the federal government. He ordered department heads to search for anyone who wasn’t fully loyal and devoted to Trump and remove them. McEntee’s new role was controversial for he had been fired from the White House in 2018 for being unable to get the required security clearance.
“McEntee and his enforcers made the disastrous last weeks of the Trump presidency possible,” Karl wrote in The Atlantic. “They backed the president’s manic drive to overturn the election and helped set the stage for the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Thanks to them, in the end, the elusive ‘adults in the room’ —those who might have been willing to confront the president or try to control his most destructive tendencies—were silenced or gone. But McEntee was there bossing around Cabinet secretaries, decapitating the civilian leadership at the Pentagon, and forcing officials high and low to state their allegiance to Trump.”
Stuff’s other cofounders are Dan Huff, Trump’s Housing and Urban Development deputy assistant and tech expert Isaac Stalzer.
Ryann McEnany’s Twitter profile describes her as a Digital Marketing & Brand Communications Strategist with 171,200 followers. Her tweets this week describe Liz Cheney as “a nasty woman” and rejoice over her primary loss with “Liz Cheney has been so out of touch with reality and a disgrace to her own party... but tonight justice was served.”
Then, “I can’t wait for Trump to win again.”
Twitter’s response to the app she promotes is mixed.
@govmikeyd tweeted “Is this (app) named after the movie about a Democratic senator?” The reference is to Democratic Ohio Senator and trailblazing astronaut John Glenn whose story was told in the film classic, The Right Stuff.
A potential male user was annoyed by The Right Stuff’s offer to let women use the premium app free if they convince two female friends to join.
“Why is this app ‘Woke’ giving privileges to women?” @anothergamer demanded in his tweet.
Another dating app launched in 2008, The Righter seems to be the Stuff’s main competition since it also targets Trump-loving singles. Created by former banker Christy Edwards Lawton, who once boasted to NBC news that conservatives have better orgasms than liberals, Righter’s Google Play entry warns potential users that it is “not a hookup app” and has a three strikes, you’re out policy toward users who are crude or abusive.
Unlike Stuff’s focus on Gen Z and millennial users, Righter pitches to older users, too. And it has an unorthodox perk.
“Righter is the first dating app to have a medical component to it, With RIGHTER Medical, access to a doctor that specializes in sexual health is only a click away,” Lawton writes on her LinkedIn bio. Use Righter “when you’re tired of getting swiped left on for your political beliefs.”
Out of 724 Google reviews, Righter averages only 1.1 stars with 5 being the highest rating. Many of the reviewers complained about technical glitches.
“I have the age set to 18-28, but I consistently get people very well over that limit,” one reviewer wrote. “There are also issues with liberal trolls on there. I already ran into several.”
McEnany says in her promo that membership in The Right Stuff is by invitation only.
Another dating app for Trumpers called Donald Daters seems to have vanished after Motherboard discovered a 2018 security breach that exposed user data in an open database.
RepublicanSingles may be the David to McEntee’s Goliath. University of Kansas alum Jason Daniels began developing it in 2015 and launched it this month. It welcomes both libertarians and conservatives — and its promotional video never mentions Trump.
“We have Trump supporters and Trump haters,” Daniels told Raw Story, describing his membership. “I’m big on freedom, so I allow my members to say what they want, excluding threats against me or my company, threats of violence against anyone, or anything involving illegal activity.”
Asked for the biggest difference between Stuff and RepublicanSingles, Daniels replied wryly, “I’ve had to build mine on a shoestring budget, driving Uber to fund it along the way.” He told Raw Story that he bought the domain on a “GoDaddy auction with the last $1,000 to my name, after negotiating the previous owner down from $5,000.”
His first site and app went live in September 2018, but Daniels continues to work on it nonstop to refine and improve it.
“I redid everything last month,” he said.
He relaunched the new version this month. The app has 11 reviews but almost all were written before this year’s overhaul. The average score is 2.4 out of 5. Complaints focused entirely on tech issues.
The site’s mission statement outlines Daniels’ conservative principles: supporting the Second Amendment, opposing same sex marriage, life begins before conception. However, Daniels realizes not all users may not precisely reflect those views because he has Libertarian friends eager to use the app.
Daniels also discusses Jesus as the Messiah when he lists conservative values. But he says Jewish members have joined RepublicanSingles and “I don’t preach at anyone. I just pray they find their way to their Messiah as I have.”
Stuff’s website has a template for anyone interested in joining. But there is no information other than McEnany’s video about what values it expects its users to possess other than Trump love.
During the Obama Administration, the market for politically filtered dating apps was clear. Pew’s 2014 polarization survey found that 30 percent of conservatives said they would be unhappy and disapprove of a relative marrying a Democrat, and 23 percent of Democrats disapproved of relatives marrying Republicans.
Yet so far, the media coverage of The Right Stuff has been skimpy. And the press hasn’t noticed one snafu: there’s already a dating site called The Right Stuff online.
It’s strictly for faculty and graduates of the eight Ivy League universities---Brown University, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth College, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale—plus some other elite, prestigious schools. The full list is posted on The Right Stuff website. It includes Stanford, Vanderbilt, UCLA, Northwestern, Vassar, University of Chicago, MIT, Brandeis, Princeton, New York University and Juilliard.
Potential members must submit proof they have a diploma from one of the elite universities. The site lists acceptable forms of proof: a copy of the diploma, a page from an alumni or faculty directory that includes the applicant’s name, photo of an alumni or faculty card, a copy of one’s “alumni magazine with computerized address label intact, any correspondence from the university indicating that you are a graduate or faculty member, copy of your transcript. (Our eyes are blind to grades).”
There are special interest groups for the smartypants Right Stuffers, ranging from downhill and X-country skiers and dancers to foodies and “policy wonks; this is the right time for discussion.”
Raw Story asked Dawn Touchings, the Cornell alum who founded the Ivy Leaguers’ The Right Stuff in 1993, whether she was concerned about confusion between the two dating services.
Touchings emailed back, “I am concerned.”
She declined an interview saying it would be “premature” at this time.
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