A new pro-Trump dating app backed by right-wing tech billionaire Peter Thiel hasn’t even launched yet, but it’s been met with plenty of rejections.
The Right Stuff, due out this month, was co-founded by former Trump man and aspiring matchmaker Johnny McEntee, who recruited former White House press secretary sister Kayleigh McEnany to help launch the app.
Kayleigh’s sister, Ryann McEnany, is particularly well-suited for the job. She has 146,000 Instagrams followers– mostly young conservatives – and have been given a particularly difficult task: convincing attractive, conservative women to sign up.
Her basic offering, according to an Instagram message reviewed by The Daily Beast, was a mixture of flattery and exclusivity: “Hi, I’m working with John McEntee’s team on a dating app. Exclusive conservative dating called The Right Stuff is slated to come out this summer! We’d love to include you on our list to get early access to the app. “
But despite its goal of attracting female Capitol Hill employees and right-wing politicians, the startup is still facing a number of problems.
For one, there is an emerging legal dispute with another dating service, Is called Appropriate content.
“Right content” has been around for more than two decades, but it has nothing to do with conservative politics.
According to Michael Feigin, an attorney working on the case, the company is planning to send a cease-and-desist letter backed by Thiel. “The current dating service is for people with more education and many of them are leftist, so they don’t like confusion,” he said.
The founder of the original The Right Stuff dating app, Dawne Touchings, claimed to The Daily Beast that she keeps the trademark the same “name” that the conservative dating app poached. “There are a lot of other really good right-wing names they can choose from,” she said. “They’re so smart, I’m sure they can come up with something!”
“I have an attorney, and he is contacting them,” Touch continued. “That’s my merged name.”
The Daily Beast independently verified that there was a trademark application for the name, but could not verify that the application was approved.
Yet another real problem is user acquisition. Instead of drawing singles, the app has so far largely drawn mockery, according to female Republican agents who spoke to The Daily Beast.
Two Republican staffers in Washington, DC, said many conservative young women ignored McEnany’s approach and instead mockedly passed screenshots of her messages to group chats. .
Other Republican employees in DC—who brag about knocking down drinks at the Navy Yard Mission watering hole and declare their pronouns “Yee” and “Haw” on their Instagram profiles— told The Daily Beast that the app has a host of possible problems, like libertarians masquerading as right-wingers and the potential awkwardness of matching them with conservative employees they already know. .
“Those are all Mitch McConnell employees,” a female Republican agent said, speaking on condition of anonymity because she still works in pro-Trump politics.
But that same conservative task force, who was invited to the app by McEnany, says the launch in the swamp — the MAGA moniker for Washington — was a mistake.
“If they just started in DC, then good luck,” she said. “I think they would be better off starting in other parts of the country,” she added, suggesting states with darker reds like Florida and Texas.
McEnany and McEntee did not return requests for comment, nor did Thiel’s representatives or the attorneys who have represented him and other Thiel ventures in the past.
Even before its debut, The Right Stuff—not to be confused with white nationalism—link site of the same name — caused another controversy. When it released a promotional video led by McEnany in August, the venture was mocked on Twitter for creating a right-wing safe dating space with no pronouns.
Applications are invited only reported will only allow matches of the opposite sex in the first place. Like the LGBTQ+ website called “Last Name” shown, Thiel – who is gay – is therefore sponsoring a product that he will not be able to use. It remains to be seen whether the app will catch on; other right-wing startups, like Social Truth, Righterand AlignPay, were unable to fully compete with their main counterparts.
There were other causes of skepticism. “I feel like it can be easily trolled by people,” a female Republican employee told The Daily Beast.
She also questioned why The Right Stuff was necessary. “You can meet other conservatives on casual dating apps. It’s something you can filter,” she notes. More established apps, including Bumble, suggested a long time ago their users’ ability to filter out potential matches based on political leanings.
Others said they were worried about limiting their potential dating pool, especially in the politically incestuous DC area.
“I really don’t want the world I’m working with to know my dating status,” a DC reporter for a conservative publication told The Daily Beast.
The same reporter in The Right Stuff’s target demographic lamented that dating apps feel the opposite of “traditional” conservatism. “The internet seems to interfere with biological tendencies, just like men flirting with women,” she said. “This is not like Alexa telling you the weather. You can’t just drop the natural mating process and call it traditional.”
Meanwhile, Savannah Dudzik, an unpaid app ambassador who lives in Tampa, Florida, who met the startup’s representatives at a meeting at Turning Point in the United States, added that she has never been prefer dating apps (such as Catholic Match), in part because men on the platform are just looking to hook up. She’s hoping for a more positive experience with The Right Stuff — for serious romance only — and is happy to see it start to work. “I think it will work!” Dudzik said.
Except there’s a reason: Dudzik hopes the app will ban right-wing men on the platform looking for “hook”.
For his part, McEnany is also busy promoting other right-wing activism. In recent days, she has advocated for a Google alternative that highlights “censored” stories, posting a beaming smile. Picture by Mike Lindell of MyPillow and shared a movie stage there was a Mexican mariachi band — in mockery mention of Venezuelan migrants who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida officials, allegedly following pretend.
Clearly, The Right Stuff assumes its users will be attracted to that kind of ideology — or at least not alienated by it.
In one of its videos advertisement Returning to 1950s values, three actresses mocking the “crazy” modern dating world, including fictional men who don’t want children for environmental reasons, ask a paid for a meal after forgetting their gift card in a fan. packed and updated a day on a bike.
“Download The Right Stuff today,” the ad concludes, “and start dating normal people.”