The morning after last year’s presidential election results, Mike Lagana went to work in Manhattan.
His usual commute to the site where he was employed at the time, right beside Trump Tower, took an extra 45 minutes because he had to navigate the throngs of protestors that surrounded the President-elect’s residence.
(I’m starting to feel like I missed the Groupon for that trip).
However, under the photos, a trend in descriptions was emerging.
Still jubilant about Trump’s election, Lagana’s politics are seeping into the conversations he has with dates.
The 24-year-old meets women in many ways: IRL (in real-life), on Facebook and Tinder.
Flicking through Tinder, in the interest of immersive journalism, I kept seeing a biography specific to 2017.
Other versions included “If you voted for Trump, we shall not hump” and the less rhythmical, more brutal: “If you voted for Trump, swipe yourself off a cliff.” Back to the bar, over a vodka and soda, the young Trump voter is discussing dating as a conservative in New York with Roger Sachar and Jay Cruger, fellow members of a meetup group called the New York Republican Club. “A date shouldn’t be like an episode of C-SPAN,” says Cruger, a charismatic 24-year-old paralegal from the Bronx. They never shy away from talking politics, even in the sometimes combative, predominantly Democratic dating landscape of NYC. She likes Trump’s economics and thinks that New Yorkers need a different perspective of the President.Earlier this year, the dating web site Ok Cupid tested that theory by asking members if they stood with Planned Parenthood (a non-profit organization that provides reproductive and other health care services to women and is a frequent target of Republicans who seek to cut funding to the organization even though public money isn't used to pay for abortions.) New York responded with 90% of people supporting the organization and gaining an #IStand With PP badge, according to Melissa Hoble, the site’s chief marketing officer, who said it was a means of connecting users.“In today’s political climate, we think it’s important to focus on unity, not division,” she said.He recently matched with a woman on the latter, the conversation progressed to Instagram, where they shared a friend in common. His profile features pictures of him at work, with his dogs and one from January that reads: “President Trump we did it!” After around 10 messages back and forth, his match declared that she wasn’t a Trump supporter, following with “the fact that his (Trump’s) flat out racism and sexism isn’t a deal breaker for you turns me off, no offense.” “I think it’s nonsense” Lagana told me. I’m a nice person, open-minded.” In 2011, Gregory Huber, a Yale University political science professor, along with Neil Malhotra, a professor at Stanford Business School, examined the effect of partisanship in online dating.On two of the main dating apps used by New Yorkers – Tinder and Bumble – you swipe right if interested in the person (and hope they do too, for a match) and left to reject the candidate.Frequently, the people I came across seemed interested in steering clear of anyone who supported Trump.“I could tell after I said that that he just wanted to get out of there and I thought it was surprising, especially since he said he leaned a little more right anyway,” this woman said.“I just said, ‘ok, nice to meet you.’” Following last year’s election, the Trump name isn’t just on the towering buildings of the New York skyline.In Manhattan, where my app trawled for potential suitors, perhaps 1 in 20 would feature this new angle: The few short paragraphs traditionally filled with description or a witty quip were being used for political demarcation.Men and women were asking suitors to immediately discount themselves based on how they voted in 2016.