And why I predict a good four years from President Biden.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Dave Sherrill on Unsplash

There has been a lot of conversation lately about just how bad an American president can get. Is getting impeached the lowest low? No, apparently it can happen twice. How about asking foreign governments to interfere in our elections? Well, apparently there’s also inciting domestic terrorism and insurrection.

Amidst all the furor and horror over ex-President Trump, there hasn’t been quite enough talk about what makes a good president. We hold our breath for President Biden’s first hundred days, craving the boring news of the administrative state and promising our clenched hearts there will be normalcy soon. We don’t ask much of him, only the bare minimum. …


Straight people need to act less…straight

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash

Needless to say, I’m not straight. And I’m quite progressive when it comes to relationships, gender norms, and marriage. (By progressive, I mean practical. Straight people are needlessly complicated.) My friend group is mostly LGBTQIA+ and we have a host of relationship issues, platonic and otherwise, but somehow it just seems easy to me.

Straight people, on the other hand, are kinda weird. They choose anything over frank communication, cling to outdated gender norms, and consistently feel the need to prove their own straightness. This list was inspired by a female friend who thinks her boyfriend should never hang out with other women and a male friend who thinks the color pink is gay. …


These are the two best decisions I’ve ever made.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

Back when I was miserable, I used to earn a lot of money. My starting paycheck out of law school was $180,000 a year plus a bonus of racism, sexism, and bullying. The work sucked and I was always on call. I was unappreciated and my talents were wasted. Nothing I did made the world a better place.

So I saved everything. I never bought new clothes or shoes. I went to the movies once or twice a year. I rarely ate out and never bought makeup.

I left in eight months after I realized I just couldn’t tolerate my life anymore. I joined the National Commission on Service, where I spent every day figuring out how to actually improve things in America and involve more young people in public and national service. I wrote constitutional law memos and drafted legislation. Despite some long projects, the job was fun and meaningful and I worked with a great team. …


My many friendship failures cemented my romantic success

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I have a confession to make. I’m 24 years old and I’ve never had a breakup. I’ve never dated someone only to find out all the stars in their eyes were faded, never had a romantic relationship end in failure or loss or tears. I’ve never had the nostalgic pangs of “having been in love with someone.”

It’s not because I’m new to romance. I’ve watched my friends struggle with dating, swipe endlessly right, and get their hearts broken. I’ve seen them get engaged and I’ve seen them at the brink of divorce. I’m always the eager shoulder, comfortable with the wetness of silent tears. …


It’s not a good question to ask, but I’ll answer it.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

Is Trump or Biden better for me?

It’s a question I’ve heard a lot these days. “Isn’t Trump better for getting rid of Muslims?” asks a Hindu nationalist. “Isn’t Trump better on abortion?” asks a pro-lifer. “Isn’t Trump better for my job prospects?” asks a cis, straight, white male colleague.

The level of selfishness it takes to ask that question in 2020 is appalling, honestly. So appalling, I’m here writing my first Medium article in months to let you know just how appalling it is. (I’ve mostly spent my free time getting out the vote.)

Honestly, there are more lives than yours and the entire world is holding its breath on our elections, though most people can’t even vote in it. This election isn’t about your interests. It’s about a dictatorial President who has asked foreign countries to interfere in our election, attempted to suppress voting and ballot counting, and refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. But if you don’t care about this and do have a subject-matter opinion that aligns with Trump’s for some reason, here’s why you still shouldn’t vote for him. …


I spent most of the show screaming, “Just talk to each other!”

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Volha Kudzina on Unsplash

Spoilers for Bridgerton.

It seems that all anyone wants to talk about these days is Bridgerton, a Netflix show released last month that has already been watched by over 63 million people. It’s an epic period romance set in Pride and Prejudice-era Britain and it has a ton of highly unrealistic but very sizzling sex scenes.

So, okay, I liked it. I watched it in three or four days with my sister and my husband (warning: do NOT watch this show with your parents). I love superheroes and sci-fi, I usually enjoy romances only if they come with sword fights, and Bridgerton is the furthest thing from my typical TV-lineup. …


What does it mean to be a country of ideals if we don’t hold onto them?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

On Wednesday, at 5:45pm, I was drinking my mom’s honey boba tea, while screaming at the TV. I live ten minutes away from Capitol Hill and close to my parents, the only people besides my husband and sister who I’ve seen since March of last year.

Just two months before, on November 7, I had driven into D.C. and watched the crowds from afar. Usually I stay in the car, watching the gorgeous monuments through closed windows. But that day was different. The Associated Press had called the election. Biden won. The city was screaming with joy.

We blasted “Party in the U.S.A.” and “Happy” from our car’s loudspeakers and kept the windows open. It was a great day. But it was a day soon dulled by the reality that Donald Trump and millions of his supporters were living in a different world, one in which he had won and the election was a joke. …


Uniqueness was always more important than quality

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This photo is the first result on Unsplash for “Unsplash.” It is carefully edited, the rich brown photos on the phone perfectly poised and in quiet contrast to the vibrant green of manicured grass. It is poetic, filled with clean lines and a delicate flow. In many ways, it is art, the farthest thing from the brightly lit halls and awkward poses of stock images.

And yet, it is becoming stock.

Unsplash started as a way for people to share their pictures so that the rest of us could use their images for free, while still providing an easy way to credit the photographer. Over time, Unsplash added more rules on how their photos can be used, struggling to balance artist rights with the changing needs of free internet usage. …


I, for one, want my culture to go mainstream.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Sonika Agarwal on Unsplash

Last week, Cardi B was loudly criticized for a magazine cover where she was photoshopped to have multiple arms, a shoot inspired by the Hindu goddess Durga. People raged about cultural appropriation, upset that she was casually using Hinduism for a promotional pic.

There’s nothing new about this. Selena Gomez and Heidi Klum have been criticized for dressing up in Hindu-inspired clothes and white people have been frowned at for everything from doing yoga to drinking turmeric lattes. …


Individual people did end up mattering

Image for post
Image for post
A Biden campaign field organizer registers volunteers for canvassing on November 1, 2020 in Philadelphia, PA. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

I personally know several people who were responsible for winning the election, and one of them might have been me.

It’s a bold statement, but hear me out.

Back in June, a friend of mine told me to calm down. “There’s nothing you can do,” he said. “You should meditate and accept that it’s out of your hands.” I was crumbling under the endless pressure of the news, and he was trying to soothe me.

“You’re wrong,” I said, frustrated that he wasn’t doing anything to actually help. “You know you could… ”

He cut me off. “Come on, you know one vote doesn’t matter.” I groaned. What an idiot, I thought. To be fair to my friend, even in states like Wisconsin or Georgia, it was never down to an actual single vote. But there is so much more to democracy than voting. There is protesting. Driving others to the polls. Writing postcards. Texting. Organizing events. Donating money. Calling voters. Campaigning, tweeting, speaking, and writing. …

About

Isvari Maranwe

National Security and Cybersecurity Attorney. Author. Cofounder of Dweebs Global with Janani Mohan and Nathan Maranwe. www.dweebsglobal.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store