A new pair of dating sites aim to remove the awkward initial political conversation from internet courtship by matching users only with people who share their political affiliation, via a sophisticated series of questions on individual viewpoints. Which is a huge improvement over the old way that people tried to suss out each other's political affiliations on first dates "Complete this sentence. Rape is a A: (tragic violation of a woman's autonomy and every effort should be made to empower her in the wake of said violation) B: (gift from God if and only if the lady gets pregnant)."
RedStateDate and BlueStateDate were launched by a 27-year-old Californian named Alexander Fondrier. Both sites allow users to specify their beliefs on a variety of economic, social, and global issues and weigh individual beliefs more or less heavily. Theoretically, that algorithm will result in setting people up who are more in tune with each other's beliefs, and less likely to get in a drunken argument about abortion at a friend's wedding.
I, for one, think screening out dates by political affiliation is a great idea, especially if you're passionate about your political stances. It's not a great idea to only befriend people who are Democrats or Republicans, but there's no harm in choosing a partner who your confident can be an ally.
But aren't there other cultural markers for the red and blue state-type people? After the election, one intrepidly nerdy number cruncher found that Barack Obama won more than 3/4 of counties that contain a Whole Foods, whereas Mitt Romney won a similar proportion of counties that contain at least one Cracker Barrel. States with more highly educated populations tended to go Obama; less educated states went Romney. People carrying NPR tote bags tend to lean blue state, whereas adults who would pay to attend a NASCAR event tend to be red. People who dress like Gordon Gekko? Red. People with Art History degrees who don't know how to balance their checkbook? Blue. Vegans? Blue. Veal eaters? Red. And if you see a woman, minority, or homo-gay running around with a big beribboned gift? Probably a Democrat, since that's how Mitt Romney thinks Obama got those groups to vote for him. Unscientifically, most female Facebook friends of mine who are regularly posting inspirational quotes about Jesus over photographs of waterfalls are Republican, whereas most women who use the word "stabby" are Democrats. And I'm somewhat biased here, but Democrats are much, much funnier than Republicans, who have gone from the party of guffawing bullies to the party of brittle lip-pursers — paradigm shift? Don't mind if I do! (although: exception — most Gary Johnsonesque Libertarians I know are, on average, significantly funnier than affiliates of either major political party). In an age of extreme polarization, political indicators are so inexorably bundled together that I can usually tell whether someone is a Democrat or a Republican by looking at them. Or talking to them for 5 minutes. We all send out political vibes. It's just a matter of reading them in others.
For people who simply cannot be bothered to scroll by pictures of dudes holding guns or girls wearing Warby Parker frames, RedStateDate and BlueStateDate will find you the perfect match, and possibly get you into a relationship where none of your arguments are about politics. Instead, they'll be about even dumber crap, like who does the dishes more or what person's favorite bands suck less.