I hear that there are now “safe spaces” on college campuses and I’ve seen the #triggerwarning in online spaces and requests for trigger warnings from professors. This makes no sense to me. I always thought a safe space was one where all parties felt open to sharing their thoughts and having a conversation without fear of undue retribution. Shouldn’t safe spaces be about the dissenters? I’m so grateful that I’ve found liberty.me (thanks to The Scott Horton Show), but it is frustrating when all you can do is preach to the choir.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. In true libertarian fashion, I decided to use the day as a platform to promote the cause of peace. Here was my status:

I maintain that the best way to celebrate Veteran’s Day is to demand an end to US military intervention and stop creating veterans. Veteran’s Day should be a celebration of peace and the end of all military service.

I saw this as a plea for peace, for the end of death, for an end to people needing to “risk their lives for our freedom.” I’m probably making a mountain out of a mole hill, I did get six likes after all. But I just couldn’t shake one of the comments:

They are protecting the freedoms that you enjoy every day. You should thank those who have served and sacrificed, even if you disagree with the institution.

Now, that was one comment. There was one other comment that agreed with the first, that I “should thank” veterans “even if” I disagree, but also ceded my point and questioned why we have such institutions in the first place. Regardless, I just had this feeling that no matter how I replied, if I replied honestly, I would get a lot more of these types of comments. Comments defending veterans and comments voicing offense of my beliefs. All of them with that underlying tone that I am a terrible, ungrateful, naive person. I did not feel comfortable saying, “I want no one to die for me.” How sad is that? My dissent of the nationalism of Veteran’s Day is one of peace and I don’t feel comfortable sharing that on Facebook!

Before you go crazy, I’m not actually asking for safe spaces because I’m not crazy. What I want is more people who are more open to more ideas. I want to have open communication with non-libertarians. I want them to feel safe to share their concerns, so that I can understand them better, and then together we can talk through how to solve those problems. I want non-libertarians to hear an alternative, a different way of thinking. I want all people to be open to different points of view. And I want all people to feel free to voice their dissent. To feel safe to say no and to not feel like their very personhood is going to be attacked.