In liberal Washington, dating leaves conservatives with much to desire

Supporters of US President Donald Trump use DonaldDaters.com to find people who have similar political leanings. (Screebgrab)
Updated 04 November 2018

In liberal Washington, dating leaves conservatives with much to desire

  • DonaldDaters.com, a website connecting those who support the Republican president with the slogan “Make America Date Again”
  • Four days after launching the site in mid-October, Moreno said the app had been downloaded 20,000 times.

WASHINGTON: Dante Bucci is a 22-year-old marketing student who lives in one of Washington’s most hip neighborhoods.
The New Jersey native is clean cut, well dressed and well spoken.
But as a Republican in one of the most liberal cities in America, his political views are kryptonite in the US capital’s dating world, where he frequently finds himself attracted to Democrats.
“A lot of first dates. Not a lot of second dates,” Bucci says of his love life these days. “I think Donald Trump has a lot to do with that.”
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump earned... four percent of the vote in the District of Columbia.
It’s not exactly great math for a young, single conservative man who backed the real estate mogul.
And with November’s key midterm vote stoking political tensions, Republicans like Bucci are finding that romance is all but dead.
“They want to date someone that they can agree with on some issues,” laments Bucci, who supports abortion rights and gay marriage and calls himself a moderate Republican.
“’I’m a Republican but...’ — I’ve started so many sentences that way.”
Enter: DonaldDaters.com, a website connecting those who support the Republican president.
Its slogan? “Make America Date Again,” of course.
“I felt a real need for this app,” said Emily Moreno, a 25-year-old Republican who founded the site after speaking to many of her friends.
Moreno told AFP that many people in Washington said if they mentioned working for Trump or Republican causes to a potential love match, “the date is shut down — it’s a deal-breaker.”
Four days after launching the site in mid-October, Moreno said the app had been downloaded 20,000 times.
One senior adviser for a Republican member of Congress tried the app because he has found dating as a gay Trump supporter a particular challenge.
“The gay guys in DC are really close-minded,” the 31-year-old who wished to remain anonymous told AFP, calling himself “a minority within a minority within the minority.”
He noted that the dislike goes both ways.
“If someone was super into Hillary Clinton, I would be turned off by that,” he explained.
On other widely used dating apps like Tinder or Bumble, Bucci said he found nothing but land mines.
According to a sample of several dozen Tinder profiles consulted by AFP, many women urged Republicans guys to swipe left — meaning to pass them by.
Kendall, 23, is one of those women. “Allergic to bees and Republicans” reads the bio on her Tinder profile.
“They don’t respect my autonomy. They don’t respect women. They voted for a person who openly bragged about sexually assaulting women so no,” she told AFP when asked why she was ruling out the men of the GOP.
Bucci says that so many of his first dates go off the rails with the first question: “Did you vote for Donald Trump?“
When he says yes, he gets all kinds of responses, not all of them pleasant.
“Sometimes they probe me into why I voted Trump, as if it’s a murder and I’m on trial,” he said, adding that his friends are having similar experiences. “It really is tiring.”
“Sometimes, it’s ‘Whoa, I thought you were better than that.’ Other times, it’s ‘You seemed like a nice person.’“
One of Bucci’s friends even had a drink thrown in his face.
As a result of the difficult dating scene, Bucci — who works for a high-profile conservative organization while pursuing his studies — is considering leaving Washington for good.
He says his lackluster love life is about 20 percent of his reason for wanting to go.
“This is not a normal city,” he says. “You can’t even go for a drink without talking about the Supreme Court or the deficit.”
Moreno, who grew up in Ohio but lives in Washington, says whenever you meet someone in the US capital, you get asked two things: “Where are you from and where do you work?“
While Moreno is now seeing someone, she said her past dating life left something to be desired.
“When you say, ‘Yes, I voted for Trump,’ you don’t get past” the first date, she said.
“I lost friends over the 2016 election.”
For Bucci, the polarization of America has basically transferred to the dating pool.
“We are in a society where you can only date or be with people that think like you,” he said.
The only other option is one he says his friends have used: lie about who they voted for.


Is Egypt close to finding Cleopatra’s tomb?

Many Egyptologists believe that Cleopatra’s tomb is located in Alexandria, where she was born and ruled from her royal palace. (Supplied)
Updated 14 July 2020

Is Egypt close to finding Cleopatra’s tomb?

  • Rival theories hold key to solving mystery of queen’s burial crypt

CAIRO: More than 2,000 years after her death, Cleopatra — the enigmatic queen of the pharaohs — is creating a riddle for archaeologists desperate to find her tomb.

Conflicting reports and news stories on the undiscovered burial crypt are making the search for the elusive tomb increasingly confusing.

Foreign media claim the recent uncovering of two mummies in Egypt will help in the hunt for the tomb, a puzzle that continues to elude archaeologists.

The UK newspaper The Guardian reported that two mummies of high-ranking individuals who lived during the same period as Cleopatra were found 30 km from Alexandria, the Egyptian city overlooking the Mediterranean.

The newspaper said that although the burial chamber was hidden for 2,000 years, the mummies were in poor condition due to water leaks.

However, a source in the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said that the discovery reported by The Guardian is not new and happened several years ago.

Evidence revealed that the mummies were originally completely covered in gold leaf, a luxury granted only to those from the highest class of society.

Archaeologists say the two may have known Cleopatra herself.

Many Egyptologists believe that Cleopatra’s tomb is located in Alexandria, where she was born and ruled from her royal palace.

The city was destroyed in A.D. 365. Experts believe the last remnants of the tomb could be about 50 km away in the ancient temple of Taposiris Magna, built by the Ptolemies, the Greek rulers of ancient Egypt, in the Nile delta.

The temple is said to contain hidden paths and tombs. Cleopatra’s tomb is thought to be located there, decorated with gold leaf. Researchers say the tomb will answer 2,000-year-old questions surrounding her death.

FASTFACT

A source in the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said that the discovery reported by The Guardian is not new and happened several years ago.

However, Salwa Hussein, a professor of Greek and Roman antiquities at Tanta University, said that there is no scientific evidence of her burial in the region.

Cleopatra was no ordinary person, and her tomb must be in a more important and visible place, he added.

“She was the last queen of Egypt and one of the most famous rulers in history. She married the Roman emperor Julius Caesar and fell in love with his minister, Antonio. The queen committed suicide with Antonio in 53 B.C. after the Roman leader Octavian captured her in Alexandria,” Hussein said.

According to the legend, Cleopatra directed servants to smuggle snakes into her cell, which poisoned and killed her.

Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist and former minister of state for antiquities affairs, hopes there are further attempts to locate the tomb.

“We have only discovered 30 percent of Egyptian antiquities. The rest have not yet been discovered. We are very close to finding the right location for the tomb. We hope we are on the right track,” he said.

Hawass said he believed Cleopatra and Antonio were buried in the same grave.

However, a number of Egyptian archaeologists disagree.

According to the book “Alexandria ... the Library and the Academy in the Ancient World” by Mohamed Abdel-Moneim Amer, Cleopatra’s tomb was not far from the tomb of Alexander the Great.

Alexander’s tomb in Alexandria, said to be made of gold, was taken by Ptolemy XI in 101 B.C. and replaced with a glass sarcophagus.

Amer said that Cleopatra lived in an era of droughts, as evidenced by valuables found in the tombs of her family.

Archaeologist Alaa El-Shahat said that Cleopatra’s tomb, as well as the rest of the tombs of the Ptolemaic kings, are located in the royal district in the middle of modern-day Alexandria.

The district was home of royal palaces and theaters, such as Kom Al-Dikka, the Roman theater.

El-Shahat said it was possible that the tomb is located in a central neighborhood.