It's a question I've come back to, in one form or another, over the course of my year as a reporter at the Independent.
The need to be left alone and the need to promote a certain worldview often crash together. And Colorado Springs, as libertarian as it may be, is crisscrossed by thousands of examples. Immigrants versus the people who say they shouldn't be here. Women who have abortions versus those who say that practice shouldn't exist. Ex-cons versus public-safety promoters.
These interactions are always muddier than they appear.
And they make for fascinating reporting.
This week's Independent is my last. I'll be heading to Denver for a fellowship at Westword, another alternative newsweekly in a city zigzagged by different barriers.
Thank you to Colorado Springs for weaving its snarled web. And thank you, a big thank you, to my colleagues at the paper for helping me unravel parts of it.