Tinder, the dating equivalent of trying on a bunch of different pairs of pants before giving up and eating some cheese fries, just announced a new feature called Swipe the Vote.
The goal, ostensibly, is to enable young people to become more politically aware while they swipe through potential fuck partners. Starting today, users can expect to come across a special video card—built by an online polling platform called, for some reason, Wedgies—that invites them to swipe left or right on a variety of relevant political issues. Swipe the Vote will then cough up the presidential candidate that best matches the user’s preferences.
The poll includes questions about hot-button topics like same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, military spending, the legalization of marijuana, raising the minimum wage, and abolishing the death penalty. According to Tinder, it’s designed to help clarify things for millennial voters who might be unfamiliar with the current American electoral circus, which is currently under siege by a runaway cheese whiz-hued clown with small hands.
My own presidential match was Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, whom I agreed with a whopping 90% of the time. This is great and all—it is true, I do enjoy Feeling the Bern every so often—except for the fact that I don’t want to think about a cranky, balding socialist while I’m trying to get laid.
There is a good reason that “don’t talk about politics” is a cardinal rule of first dates. Nobody wants to think about Ted Cruz’s demon spittle while they’re also thinking about a dick. Seriously, coming across politicians while scoping out the bone zone is about the biggest turn-off imaginable. No one is on Tinder to be politically active, unless you’re one of those assholes who proudly displays “#BernieBro” or “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” in your profile because you think it will get you some ass. If you’re trying to do that, go to a DC-area bar where such advances will be welcome and normal and not offensive.
I get the impulse. Young people are an important voting bloc, and the more informed and active they are, the better. Helping people figure out what the candidates actually believe in is valuable. The “register to vote” tab at the end of the whole ordeal is a noble and worthy addition. But there are other ways to engage young people in the electoral system without dipping into the same trough that they use to find their next warm body. Politics is decidedly not hot, and it’s unclear why Tinder thought it would be a good idea to mix sex and politics. Have we learned nothing?
Also, what the hell is Tinder doing with all this handy data?
In any case, I’m not an American citizen, so I can’t vote anyway. Joke’s on you, Tinder. Now, let me get back to my thirstmongering.