The city of Phoenix, located in the middle of the Arizona desert, is expanding. Every year, its periphery moves outward, pushing its way past the mountain ridges that once served as a natural barrier.
The Salt River Valley near the Mexican border once epitomized the Wild West and the American frontier. Today, it hosts an expanding metropolis. Not long ago, Phoenix had been voted the worst city in the United States. To many, it represented a lack of culture and imagination, devoid of definable attributes, except for population growth.
That might be why Phoenix, of all places, is where the future of the United States could be decided — a future that teeters between openness and isolationism; between absorbing political and demographic challenges or glorifying the past; between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Rarely has there been so much on the line during a presidential election. The battle for the White House appears to be nothing less than a battle for the soul of a nation. And in Phoenix, it’s palpable.
Phoenix resident Tony Navarrete considers himself ideologically armed and politically dangerous, toting voter registration forms through Phoenix with small, mobile strike forces. Their approach, which he describes as a “guerilla” tactic, is house-by-house, street-by-street.