The Battle for Cities is Over, the Battle for Suburbs Begins

“Sauron’s wrath will be terrible, his retribution swift. The battle for Helm’s Deep is over, the battle for Middle Earth has begun.” – Gandalf the White, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002

When applied to American politics and public policy, this quote from the Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s classic novel “Lord of the Rings” succeeds as a metaphor in two related contexts. First it might describe the 2016 election, where the good guys won, just as they did in the Battle of Helm’s Deep. Now the relentless assaults by the deep state and its formidable lineup of violent activists and their allies in the press and both political parties (Sauron’s minions) against the Trump administration and its supporters are the War for Middle Earth.

But there’s another more specific way to view this metaphor. The Battle for Helm’s deep represents the battle for voters in America’s cities, and the Battle for Middle Earth represents the battle for voters in America’s suburbs. Only in this case, the good guys lost the first battle. America’s cities are lost to the forces from Mordor. The following image graphically depicts just how thoroughly the Uruk Hai dominate America’s cities, controlling elections at the same time as they destroy the schools and allow the overall quality of life to deteriorate.

Where there is still hope, but where hope is fading fast, is in what could be the ultimate battle, the battle for America’s suburbs. If Read More