Do young conservatives need their own dating app?

elephants making out

Photo via Daniel Gómez/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Would you trust Sean Hannity as your matchmaker?

You’d trust your best friend to find you love. Maybe you’d even turn to one of your parents. It’s doubtful, though, that you’d rest your romantic fate in the hands of Fox News host Sean Hannity. If you’re a young conservative, however, it could be a possibility.  

In a December interview with the International Business Times, Hannity was asked if he’d be interested in creating a Tinder-style app just for conservatives. This may sound like an odd question for a talk show host, but Hannity is no stranger to the dating game. He had his own now-defunct dating site called Hannidate in the mid to late aughts. According to a 2009 Mediaite post, it billed itself as “the place where people of like conservative minds can come together to meet. Whether you are looking for a life partner, or just someone to hang out with, here you’ll be able to find exactly who you are looking for, locally or around the world.”

Hannidate was forced to shut down for legal reasons, which Hannity elaborated on in his recent IBT interview: 

“This person marries this person, now the lawyers are worried about what happens if that marriage doesn’t work out. ‘They met on your website, so you’re responsible.’ And I’m like, this is ridiculous. It bothered me.”

Hannidate’s problems seem to be water under the bridge now, because the Fox News host was tickled by his interviewer’s suggestion that he get back in the matchmaking business. “I actually love the idea,” Hannity said. 

While there is no actual plan in development (yet) and Hannity did not return the Daily Dot’s request for comment, we couldn’t help but imagine what a conservatives-only Tinder would look like—and whether it’s a good idea.

“I’m not sure there’s a latent market for conservatives who can’t find dates,” said Jeb Golinkin, a Houston, Texas, attorney and contributor to The Week. While there may be less of a need for an app like this in a red state like Texas, Golinkin thinks it is generally a “horrendous idea” because it makes the dating pool smaller. 

“The natural process of dating is not to contract the universe of people you’re going to see,” he explained. “The first step is to go on a date and see how you like them… most people are just trying to see who they can talk to.”

Darren Heitner is a 30-year-old registered Republican from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He lives in a swing state, and south Florida, where he hails from, is generally more liberal. But despite being a red fish in a blue pond, Heitner isn’t sold on the idea of Tinder for conservatives. 

The lawyer and law professor explained there is the “potential of excluding people who could be a good match, despite their alternative political views. I don’t find it to be necessary that partners be aligned on the spectrum.” Heitner noted that he has dated people with different political beliefs without problem, although he eventually relented that when it comes to love, “to each his/her own.”

While Golinkin and Heitner are happy to stick with existing dating apps, a young investment banker I met on a recent flight was jazzed about a Tinder for Republicans. 

After insisting on showing me numerous photos from the hunting trip he just wrapped up (including one of him grinning ear-to-ear with the deer he shot) and then getting into a discussion about online dating, I decided to float the idea of conservatives-only Tinder. “That would be awesome!” The 26-year-old replied. So there’s at least one beta user. 

The ’09 Mediate post also agreed that a conservatives-only dating app just might work: 

“In this era of hyper-polarization, a politicized site like Hannidate could be a huge hit if it was run seriously. People of all political affiliations don’t want to read news coverage that they disagree with, so why would they want to run the risk of dating someone they disagree with?”

Of course, the most important question of is what would this app be called? Heitner suggests Red Fling, but Golinkin really nailed it with Swipe Right. Sean Hannity, consider these free suggestions.

Image via Daniel Gómez/Flickr

Marisa Kabas

Marisa Kabas

Marisa Kabas is a lifestyle reporter and activist. Her work has been published by Fusion, Fast Company, and Today. She’s also served as an editorial campaigns director for Purpose PBC, a social movement incubator.