Anyone is allowed to support Trump, for any reason at all; I don’t mind that. But nothing about what’s going on in San Francisco right now suggests that Trump is favored to win in 2020. I didn’t write the article to talk about why I want Trump to lose; I wrote it about why we all should expect him to lose. If anything, his prospects are worse now than they were when this article came out.

I was in San Francisco last fall, but not long enough to see any of the problems you’re dealing with. But I’ve spent plenty of time in L.A. in these past few years, and they’re having major problems there as well.

To the extent that Democrats have been in charge in both of those places, and haven’t done enough to turn these problems around, they deserve a lot of blame. But the reasons for this homeless crisis in California go way beyond partisan politics. The long-term homeless problem became an acute emergency in these past few years mainly because of the shortage of affordable housing, and the roots of a problem like that usually go back decades into the past. Mismanagement at the city level is one of the smaller factors. Like most everything else about our economy, this crisis is a problem of rich versus poor, not Democrat versus Republican. Rich Democrats manipulate the system to their own advantage, just like rich Republicans; they’re just typically a tiny bit more scrupled about it.

But however bad it is now, it would be so much worse if Republicans loyal to Trump were in charge of San Francisco. The first thing they would do would be to funnel even more public resources into the pockets of their rich friends, by changing tax laws and shifting budgets away from government programs. The Trump Organization would be the first developer in line to get the payouts, by hook or by crook. It would violate building codes and cut corners, it would refuse to pay contractors, it would dodge taxes at every level. And it might very well discriminate against racial minorities in any new leases it gave out. These have been Trump’s common practices in every place he’s ever done business.

May the best argument win. And let us shake hands when it’s done.

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