Racist. Islamophobic. Xenophobic. Sexist. Homophobic. Hypocrite.

Words like these are often used to describe people like me — people known as conservatives.

The truth, is that not all conservatives are racists, sexists, islamophobes, xenophobes or homophobes. Sure, there are people like that who consider themselves conservatives, but they don’t reflect a conservative ideal and are by no means justified in their thoughts or actions.

The truth is no two people are exactly the same, so it is unfair and unjust to judge an entire group of people who share the label of conservative.

Time and time again, I have been questioned about my political beliefs. People are constantly assuming things about me when they learn my political beliefs and presume to know how I feel about what’s going on in our country and our world. They ask my opinion, yet once I begin to give it, many just shut me down, attack me and tell me my views are stupid or that I’m crazy. They label me based on what they’ve heard about conservatives, or what they’ve heard about people “like” me.

As someone attending college on a liberal campus, I have skirted under the radar — but I’ve had enough of the accusations and disrespect I have had to face on campus these past few months. I am officially coming out as conservative.

Let me dispel the rumors you may have heard about conservatives and tell you why I am one.

Allow me to start by telling you about my fundamental philosophy in life: respect everyone and treat everyone with love and kindness, regardless of how they treat you. I might not always agree with what people say or do, but I will always respect others because that is a basic right that we all deserve.

My political beliefs are aligned with my moral beliefs, and those are not something I will shy away from.

I am pro-life in all meanings of the term. I am against abortion as I believe that life begins at conception. I am also against the death penalty. I firmly believe that we as humans should not have the power over life and death. That is God’s decision and His alone.

Individuality should be encouraged and liberty should be practiced freely. We should all be allowed to exercise our constitutional rights uninhibited. For this reason, I welcome a smaller government.

I believe in a small government with the exception of a strong military. A small government limits regulation and ensures that the government does not intervene in people’s personal lives as much. I don’t believe government is the solution to our problems — government is the problem.

Our military should be large because without a large military, we make ourselves vulnerable to the numerous threats that exist outside our borders. A Heritage Foundation annual report on U.S. military strength released in 2016 said the United States currently only possesses “marginal” military strength to defend vital interests in the current threat environment. “Marginal” — that’s not exactly comforting. The United States was ranked this way because of outdated technology (especially when taking into consideration our nuclear arsenal) and a low state of readiness.

I believe that no one should be subject to discrimination. I believe in equality for all. I believe in justice for all. I believe that everyone should receive equal pay. I believe the best qualified individual should receive the job or acceptance to college. For these reasons, I have issues with affirmative action. I understand that discrimination still exists and when it is caught, it should not be tolerated.

Hiring or college acceptance should be given to the most qualified individuals and not based on a government policy. The most qualified person should rise to the top of an applicant pool. The flip side is that no one should be discriminated against and there should be equal opportunity for all. Nobody should be excluded on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. I believe that all men and women should be judged by the content of their character and nothing else.

Fiscally, I advocate for low taxes, free trade and minimizing government spending and debt. I advocate for lower taxes because seriously, who wants to give their hard-earned money to the government? I certainly don’t.

We should be minimizing our government spending, thus minimizing government debt. Usually, nobody wants to finally deal with someone — or some country — that won’t be able to pay them back. People, countries and organizations invest in opportunities with the least amount of risk. How do we expect others to want to deal with us financially if we carry so much risk?

Free trade is international trade being left to a natural course without any tariffs, quotas or other restrictions. Free trade would provide options, competition and lower prices to consumers. It would essentially benefit all of us. Economists disagree on most topics, but according to an article published by the the New York Times last year, economists are near unanimous in their agreement on free trade being beneficial to our society.

As I am for free trade among nations, I support the controversial and much-debated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

NAFTA is a bi-partisan issue that was first introduced during the George H.W. Bush Administration and passed during the Clinton Administration. It involves Canada, the United States and Mexico and provided the basis for the elimination of tariffs on trade between the three countries.

The TPP, opposed by both current presidential candidates, is a trade agreement that was signed in February 2016. It encompassed 12 Pacific-Rim countries, notably not including China. The trade agreement contains measures to lower non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade.

Both NAFTA and TPP advocate for free trade among nations. These agreements are vital to the nation’s economic health because they will lower prices for consumers thus giving consumers more disposable income to in turn pour back into the economy. This produces a hopefully never-ending cycle of expected growth in the economy.

I have just told you the ideals that define me as a conservative. You might agree with some of these. You might not. But let’s face it, people are complex. So, let’s talk!