Rikki Entrekin is a senior English writing major.

In this polarized, intense election season, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I believe in and what aspects of our country I believe to be right. I’ve also had to come to terms with a revelation about myself: my views and personal beliefs are very liberal. They are probably as far left as I could possibly go without being seen as a crazed left-winger pushing the liberal agenda on the country.

I’ve decided I’m perfectly okay with that. I don’t expect a lot of people to agree with what I believe in, and that’s the beauty of our country. My personal views won’t affect those that don’t believe the same as me, but I’m free to have the beliefs that I do.

I’d like to take a little time to spell out a few of the beliefs I have discovered about myself, though I’m sure I’ll take some criticism for what I’m about to say.

First, military spending? Don’t get me started. In 2010, the Department of Defense’s budget was $680 billion. WHAT! Why? China, the second spender for military, spent $106 billion. So much less. Why don’t we just take even a quarter of the U.S. spending ($170 billion) and put it towards the education systems of the U.S.? Students loans? Schools that need textbooks? Why does the U.S. need military bases in so many countries around the world? I don’t see a German or Afghan or Panamanian military base in the U.S.

Second, let’s legalize gay marriage and gay adoption. Orientation shouldn’t dictate either love or who can be a good parent.

Third, isn’t it about time we legalized marijuana, like Colorado and Washington chose to? It’s been proven to be not harmful, and the government could tax the heck out of it and have a great source of revenue.

Fourth, amnesty for all. Illegal immigrants worked hard to get here, and they work even harder to support their families. They take the jobs other people don’t want. Give them citizenship! To say “make all of the immigrants leave” would mean to pack your own bags and give the country back to the Native Americans.

Fifth, socialism is a grand idea. I don’t understand why so many Americans are against it. Yes, it has its problems, but so does capitalism and every other system in the world.

Sixth, universal healthcare! Let’s keep it and keep it going. I wouldn’t care if the prices of everything went up so that the health care for ALL Americans could be free. It works in Canada, Sweden, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Chile and Argentina, to name a few.

Seventh, stop drilling for oil and coal. Let’s invest that money into something better for the environment: wind energy and solar energy. There, was that so hard?

Eighth, let’s fix the 2nd amendment. Guns are not cool, and people shouldn’t have them. Not even cops. Let’s go the way of the U.K.

Ninth, why in the world does America still operate with a two-party system? It only continues the great divide between Americans. Where are those other parties that appeal to both sides of the political spectrum? And why don’t they have any power?

Tenth, all this debate about Obama being Muslim. Who cares? He’s not, it’s been proven, but even if he was, what’s the big deal? I think a Muslim could be a great president, because religious affiliation shouldn’t matter.

I’ve come to realize I’m far out there, and I’m good with that. You have your ideas and I have mine. They may not overlap, but I’d never tell you yours were wrong.