Re: The TDKR General Discussion Thread - - - - - - - - - - - Part 143
In TDK, Joker tells Batman that society will shun him when they don't need him anymore. This is partly true, but it's all because of Batman's own doing. In TDKR, we see that the mayor and Foley hate Batman, because he's the "SOB that killed Harvey Dent." It's not because he's a vigilante. In fact, many still view him as a heroic figure and are delighted at his return.
At the same time, Bruce has always acknowledged that Batman is not wanted by society. Not because of disgust like it is with leprosy (like Joker claims), but because a functional society can not, should not view Batman as acceptable. It is not Batman's job to be the police. He enables the police by working outside the law, but it's always been a fine balance over how much he allows himself to work outside the law.
So in killing off Batman, Bruce also frees Gotham from its obligation to hunt him 24/7. Even if it's always been a half-hearted effort, it's still effort that can be better used elsewhere. And he also frees Gotham from having to explain to the rest of society why they need him. Because they don't, not anymore.