Why Is Donald Trump So Formidable? – Perhaps Because He Owns The Downside…

Regardless of who you support in the 2016 Presidential primary race, most will admit there’s one strategic advantage held by Donald Trump over all other candidates – Trump’s willingness to “own the downside“.

trump vs bush

All policies and proposals have a “downside“, there’s no such thing as a policy proposal with benefit to all and harm to none.   This empirical truth is toxic to professional politicians – therefore they spend an inordinate amount of time using pretzel logic to avoid it.

As a direct consequence of avoidance, the media love to use the downside as a weapon.  For the first time in recent political memory Donald Trump represents a candidacy who is unafraid of their spear; and as a consequence, immune to the damage.

A case in point – NBC’s Chuck Todd thought he could deploy the downside weapon during a Trump campaign stop in Iowa (State Fair). During the exclusive interview aboard the Trumpo Jet Todd deployed his arsenal – “but you can’t actually remove illegal immigrants, I mean you can’t actually deport them“.

Trump owned the downside.  “Chuck, yes, yes we will.  Either we have borders or we don’t; either we have a country or we don’t“.

Like all other media punditry, Chuck was left aghast.  The dangling participle remained naught but a withering “but… but…”   Watch:

Every other candidate who has ever existed in the history of modern candidacy, would have given some form of “acceptable” alternative response. (ie. a PC version.) (ie. a lie.)

Not Trump, he owns the downside.

This approach is what makes ‘Splodey Heads!

A Second Case In Point – Trump does it again with CNN’s Jake Tapper, only this time Trump frames the controversial position ownership with an explanation.

Donald Trump is backing up his previous position that removing Iraq’s Sadam Hussein and Libya’s Kaddaffi was not a good idea. Jake Tapper is aghast: “what about the human rights abuses”?

Trump owns the opposite:  Human rights abuses? …”you don’t think they’re happening now? They’re worse now than they ever were. People are getting their heads chopped off, they’re being drowned in cages. Right now they’re far worse off than they ever were under Saddam Hussein or Kadaffi”…


Another ‘Splodey !

It doesn’t matter what the issue is.

When confronted by his tax proposal to eliminate taxes on wage earners below $50k Trump is challenged with the “skin in the game” argument.  The response is simple:  “look, it costs more for the processing of those income tax filers than the revenue which comes from them“…

  • Media: Jeb Bush want’s a no-fly zone in Syria?
  • Trump:  When did ISIS get airplanes?
  • Media:  You can’t build a wall?
  • Trump: I build things, that’s what I do – watch me!
  • Media:  You’re going to deport 11 million people.  You’ll need a “deportation force“.
  • Trump:  What does I.C.E do?

And on and on it goes.  Simple cut-to-the-chase responses with total fearless ownership of any downside from a policy proposal.

  • Media: But you used to be a Democrat, you have donated to Democrats?
  • Trump:  Yes, I live and work in New York.  NYC is all Democrats, if I need to leverage assistance for my company goals I need to work with Democrats.  It’s a business necessity; I look out for my employees and their best interests.
  • Media:  But you had Hillary Clinton at your wedding?
  • Trump: Yes, it was an amazing event, the best, the biggest, the most elegant, and I asked her and Bill to attend. They did.  Wouldn’t you, I mean if I invited you?
  • Media:  You spend all this time talking about polls.  You seem obsessed by polls?
  • Trump:  Yeah, that’s because I’m winning them.  If the polls were not good, I wouldn’t even mention them. Duh.

When you compare how Trump owns the so-called “negatives”, you immediately recognize they are only negatives if he allows them to be.  Thus, he doesn’t let them be issues – he owns them, and says “yeah, so?

Trump has spent decades with Park Row media types.  He has never avoided them, he totally understands how they operate – and more importantly “why”?

The most stark contrast is Donald Trump when contrast against others in the race like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.   Like Trump they all have historical issues and/or policy proposals with severe downsides.  However, unlike Trump – Bush, Rubio and Cruz keep trying to play the game of avoiding their history (as if it doesn’t exist) and downsides from policy.

Imagine if Jeb Bush said: “hey, I know Super-PACs are a bad idea, but without them I wouldn’t stand a chance”.

Imagine if Marco Rubio said: “hey look, the reason I supported the gang-of-eight was because I was a freshman senator and their offer made me feel superior, like I was an important and influential member of the Senate – it was a massive ego boost“.

Imagine if Ted Cruz said: “yeah, I know I didn’t support conservatives in the primary races, but it was only because I was trying to ingratiate myself to the powerful interests in the GOP leadership – I was trying to gain more influence”.

Can you imagine that?

Nah, me neither.

See ya at the next Winner’s Rally !!


This entry was posted in Donald Trump, Election 2016, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

218 Responses to Why Is Donald Trump So Formidable? – Perhaps Because He Owns The Downside…

  1. Rick says:

    Great thread Sundance!

    Rubio, Cruz, & Carson are really a case study in mannerisms, and Trump has exposed Carson & Rubio. This Cruz character is the real snake in the grass. I wonder what his real motive was after Trump announced and Cruz had a sit down with Trump at the Tower in NY?

    There’s something about Cruz that strikes me odd. The old expression about “keeping your enemies, close”. I think Trump may have appeased this guy in the beginning, throwing up a fake detente. I found it interesting that Trump said that “if he starts to rise, we may have to go to war”.
    Truth be known, I don’t feel that Cruz has the personality to resonate with the masses. There’s something twisted in his persona. The nose, the small mouth with parsed lips, and the paused speech lead me to believe that his every word is measured.

    Cruz & Rubio definitely do not own the downside. Both have vacillated on issues. Cruz always waves the flag for whichever issue is blowing in the wind. Rubio is a climber who wants to get to the top without paying his dues.

    TRUMP 2016

    Liked by 5 people

    • Deb says:

      I think the problem with Cruz is he is too clever by half. He is choosing every word carefully, he is a lawyer and a winning debater. But it comes back to bite him because he never quite sounds “off the cuff,” and people are tired of “eloquence” and polished sounding politicians. Cruz sounds neither genuine, nor polished, he just sounds rehearsed.

      I do think he’s sincere in his love for America. But his ambition gets the better of him at times, such as his unspoken support for the GOPe during the primaries. I also think that he and his father feel like they need to counter the Democrats and Republicans kabuki style politics by simply creating a style of kabuki that appeals to the base. But too many within the base are fed up with politics as usual, it’s not going to work.

      Liked by 7 people

      • flova says:

        Cruz is a beltway insider but in one way worse because he tries to look like an outsider. Not buying it–master manipulator.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Sentient says:

          “Too clever by half” nails it. I also don’t like his odd, studied method of stuttering whenever he’s about to interject some practiced point. I think it might be some sort of regional affectation that comes off as folksy to some people, but it’s pure fakery. Whenever I hear Cruz fake-stuttering I know he’s about to dump a big bucket of BS. If you haven’t noticed it, listen for it. Whenever Cruz fake-stutters he’s being extra insincere.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Tonawanda says:

        “I also think that he and his father feel like they need to counter the Democrats and Republicans kabuki style politics by simply creating a style of kabuki that appeals to the base. But too many within the base are fed up with politics as usual, it’s not going to work.”

        So well put! People are sick of kabuki.

        Amazing that someone as smart as Cruz does not get that “phony” is sickening to the very people who might support him. But that is what makes him like all the others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Raffaella says:

        There is something so unlikable about Cruz’s personality. His style of speaking is giving mini speeches. He speaks and appears as though he came from previous centuries – very old style of communicating. His face is even worse. He just looks so strange.

        He is not presidential material. All our presidents have been decent looking. He is strange looking.


        • DonCoyote says:

          How old are you? really! have looked at the portraits? i only need to go back to LBJ. And can you really call Grant decent looking? then of course there’s Garfield, Arthur or Harrison. As for Cruz’ speech being from previous century, no just previous decades- people used to talk that way in the 70’s (i know i was there) stop with the shallow assessment of politician and look a little deeper please. We got Bill Clinton and because he was so good looking and spoke well

          Liked by 1 person

        • archer52 says:

          There is a thing about lawyers and politicians with ego problems- they think they are the smartest person in the room, regardless of the room.

          However, what you see with Cruz, and what makes people uncomfortable, is that he may actually be the smartest guy in the room. And unlike Trump- who isn’t by far- he tries not to beat you to death with it.

          That is why he comes across like he does. The man is humble, but struggles with dealing with average people who do not pay attention past the bumper sticker explanation. He caught grief here about his TPP support. I watched his explanation and he was correct in the conclusion he came to, solid and well thought out.

          I may disagree, and you may disagree in principle, but that is the greatness of our nation. We usually can. (Unless you cross Obama or Trump then you are bigots “popping off” and losers.)

          I have a friend who is well traveled, MENSA bright and well schooled. When he and I get into the weeds of a political issue- like the European immigration crisis. I like to keep the lines straight- good guys vs bad guys. He can explain why things happened, what is related to what, and who did it. When he’s done, my bumper sticker answer doesn’t feel so sure.

          And I’m smarter for taking the time to listen, even if I disagree.

          Liked by 1 person

          • phil fan says:

            As usual you are underestimating Donald Trump. “Not the smartest in the room by far”
            Yep it’s a fluke Trump is the most popular politician in the US and brilliant Cruz is far in the rear.


            Liked by 1 person

          • wanthetruth says:

            Archer, maybe you should add some facts to your suppositions of Donald Trump’s intelligence, thereby increasing your own knowledge.

            Liked by 2 people

            • DelAware says:

              On what evidence is this based? Where is the documentation of his “known SAT scores”? I can’t find any. Whether he is a genius or not is not the point for me. The point for me is that he speaks plainly, he knows how to get things done, and he

              I am a UPenn alumna, daughter of three generations of UPenn alumni. Wharton/UPenn accepts some of us on the basis of family having previously attended. “Legacy admissions,” it’s called, and the Occutard/Berners hate it. But it’s a pretty good test for admissions on eugenics grounds. We generally do have higher SATs/IQ and the like than the bulk of people. What we do with that can vary widely, and the modern university setting exists not to improve people, as it claims, but to degenerate those with actual intellectual and mental gifts, handed down from their families.

              What I remember of Trump at UPenn was not that he was even a moderate or mediocre student but that he had interests outside of schooling. That praxis, focus, and drive are what made him a billionaire. Not academic credentials. He didn’t hang around campus on weekends, going to frat parties and throwing up in the shrubbery. He was working.

              If you really want to know what part of his schooling impacted him the most and the best, look at his military academy attendance. It was there he developed his own capacities for focus, drive, and plain speech, as well as love of country.

              Liked by 1 person

            • phil fan says:

              Archer is not a Trump fan and never misses an opportunity to diss the Donald.


          • When it comes to law and debate, Cruz shines. When it comes to smart, Trump has it over all of them in IQ, street smart and common sense.


        • Dee says:

          It is so sad that in this day and age we we feel the need to deride someone’s looks and criticize style of communication rather than judging on character and courage (to run for the highest office of this land). He is a man with decorum and a decent human being. I wished there were more individuals in DC with his character.

          Having said that, I believe this country, right now more than ever, needs someone like Trump; his skill-set, straightforwardness, fearlessness and his willingness to own the downside– amongst other things. I just hope he delivers on all his promises cuz he’s making a lot of ’em: wall, our vets, healthcare, taxes, debt, etc. I, like all of us here have stuck with Trump since he announced his candidacy, all the good, the bad, and the ugly 🙂 Come November, if he is our nominee, I, without hesitation will be voting for Trump 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • archer52 says:

            That is exactly what I see here- hope that Trump delivers. Phil fan says I’m underestimating Trump. As usual.

            How? To underestimate someone, I have to estimate someone- then be surprised by his extra something. I’m not surprised by Trump, pleased sometimes when I see him “grow” because that gives ME hope that under his huge ego he still is willing to listen and learn. (He is more qualified than Carson by a long shot, but he is not a world savvy, nuanced leader yet. He just got into the business this year. )

            But underestimate?

            All I ask is when someone supports anyone- Trump or Cruz or Rubio, they do it with some hesitation and thought. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true or possible. (Didn’t we learn this lesson recently? For eight years now? )

            For example, this:


            Watch the video clip of Trump. He really believes this- his own words. Now maybe the whole speech is great, but this worries me. It is the mental processing of possibilities.

            He will build a safe zone where everybody wants to live? Has he even visited a “safe zone” in the Middle East? Seen one? Talked to anyone who lives in a “safe zone” to find out if that is their choice? Or lack of a choice.

            What nation is going to allow Donald Trump to assemble, in a large area, of THEIR nation, a place where undocumented potentially dangerous Syrians will live? Who pays that nation? Who maintains the expense of a million people, put in a place they may not want to stay? How do you force them to go there? How do you force them to stay? Kill them?

            As you’ve seen in Europe, one stupid comment from Merkel and hundreds of thousands of people traveled- often on foot- hundreds of miles through nations (many more than willing to pass them through) into Europe. From where they want to be, according to Trump.


            And by what means will he build it? Private contractors? Haliburton? US military? NATO? UN? Where is this nation? Syria? Jordan? SA? Iraq? Syria is in the middle of a civil war, tribal war, ISIS war. So how many ground troops are going to be deployed to surround this place- after clearing it out by killing thousands of both fighters and civilians? How many American soldiers does he sacrifice to clear it? How much money is America willing to spend to get it?

            How much time, and effort and thought did he put into coming up with this “plan”? Not much. Because I would ask them the above questions at the risk of being called a “loser” rather than getting an answer. This is why people who know better are suffering head explosions.

            More important- do you, or Phil believe Trump will get this accomplished? Or is this just another “Aw, he’s just spouting off, that’s just Trump!” moment.

            I’m listening to his full speech now. He’s having fun because he doesn’t care. Like he said, he could be home doing something else.

            I’m not underestimating him at all. In fact, I’m starting to get a pretty good measure of the man.


            • phil fan says:

              Some have said that here about….archer, lol


            • I it comes down to living in the safe zone OR NOT, with no choice to invade other countries, I think they would be most happy to live in a safe zone.

              A safe zone in Syria would spare all these other nations the He** they are going thru right now, spare us the same and take that element of possible terrorism for all of the western world OFF the table. Sounds like a plan for me. Yes the downside is, that it would not be the equivalent of living here in the US where President Obama hands each one $15,000 of OUR money upon arrival, but maybe they should have done what we are doign now longgggggg ago.


      • DonCoyote says:

        no people are tired of shallow politicians pretending to say what they believe. Cruz chooses his words carefully for a reason cuz words have meaning! say what you mean mean what you say. as for off the cuff check out the cruz video of him riffing ‘The Princess Bride’ on youtube


    • Kef Farms says:

      Another reason for Trump’s appeal is that he still projects that America can do anything we set our minds to. Whether it is a wall, destroy ISIS, or tax reform, he just radiates an attitude that America can do anything.
      Imagine if, when JFK said we would put a man on the moon in 10 years, he had to deal with today’s press. Imagine the cries of “it can’t be done” or “there is no precedence” or “it will be too hard.”
      Many Americans, including myself, still believe that the US can do anything it sets its mind to. Negative complainers be damned.

      Liked by 11 people

    • Benson II says:

      The only mistake I could see in the articles narrative about how candidates would respond was Rubio and the gang of eight. He was not being a climber but saw an opportunity. This was not Rubio’s first or only encounter with supporting illegals it was actually just a continuation of his work in the Florida legislature.

      Liked by 1 person

    • FreedomNinja says:

      Cruz strikes me as a really abrasive Mr. Rogers. I can imagine him in elementary school as being the kid who said in a Steve Urkel nasally voice “I know you are, but what am I?”

      Liked by 1 person

    • DonCoyote says:

      you judge his personality from physical characteristics? Please rethink your concern and have something more tangible like position he’s taken or bills supported

      Liked by 1 person

      • FreedomNinja says:

        Who said I judged his personality from physical characteristics? I personally like Mr. Rogers. My only criticisms above were a nasally voice and an abrasive manner. Neither of those are physical characteristics. While I loved him ripping in to the CNBC debate moderators, sometimes he seems less than genuine to me.


  2. Col.(R) Ken says:

    Sundance, all I can say, is THANK YOU for this post!!! By owing and using the “downside” to his advantage Trump is Attacking, this is Trumps opening, and He attacks. Once the penetration is made, Trump expands the opening. Thus the MSM, GOPe, U-Party, and the Ruling Class has been exposed for their charade on the American People.

    Liked by 7 people

    • flova says:

      My pastor just told us “THE TRUTH WILL SET YOUR FREE, BUT FIRST IT WILL KICK YOU IN THE BEHIND.” Well Trump is kicking those who have put us on the road to destruction in the you-know-where with the truth. And being the weenies that they are, instead of backing him 100% they are crying about big, bad Trump.

      Liked by 8 people

  3. Paul Killinger says:

    Original take. Nice job!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ivehadit says:

    I would like to say that Donald Trump is THE MOST qualified of all the candidates to run for president. He is a businessman and entrepreneur who knows how to manage. He has run a large successful company. He has CREATED and built something. He’s a risk-taker. He has survived and thrived through the tough times as well. (very important)
    Most politicians are lawyers. What have they managed? What have they physically built? They know the law, sure, and they can orate, but have they ever run a large company? When did being a lawyer make you a good chief executive for our country? It’s a myth perpetrated by the lawyers (sorry any on this site, lol) themselves! And, with all due respect, it’s well known in the financial world that doctors are not generally good businessmen.
    In conclusion, Donald brings the most experience needed for the job of president. He is the only one we need!

    Liked by 17 people

    • noritadek says:

      I agree with you 100%. Beside, I am tired of hear “but he is not so good at debates”. We have a good debater and bs taleteller right now and our country is in the gutters. I want our country to be great again and Trump is the only one qualify to take us there!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. truthandjustice says:

    Thanks again…..I believe he said his pastor was Norman Vincent Peale whom he admired a lot and was known for “The Power of Positive Thinking” – put into practice.
    A commenter mentioned one of Wayne Allyn Root’s articles posted at The Blaze, of all places. If any missed it – my reply includes these two other ones I try to post by him:

    Why only Trump can beat Hillary


    Why the ‘dogs of hell’ have been unleashed on Donald Trump.


    Liked by 3 people

  6. Lars says:

    If you have the Truth on your side and no one else to blame but yourself. Because Conservative


  7. coltlending says:

    SD, like Trump on the Trump trail, you’re getting better and better, albeit you’ve been doing the great work here longer the Trump has been campaigning for POTUS.

    Another great piece you’ve posted!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. zephyrbreeze says:

    Not only does The Donald make logical argument for the downside, voters get to actually see Donald in mortal combat against the very foes who have a plethora of scalps hanging from their belts. They come with swagger, like Megan Kelly: to conquer, to do battle. Trump is The Slayer. He is “AntiFragile.”

    “Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty.”
    ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder

    “Suckers try to win arguments, nonsuckers try to win.”
    ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder

    “Anything that has more upside than downside from random events (or certain shocks) is antifragile; the reverse is fragile.”
    ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder

    Liked by 1 person

    • zephyrbreeze says:

      Why the left is fragile and susceptible to Black Swan events – events they claim they never saw coming…death of the turkey prior to Thanksgiving, is only a surprise to the turkey:

      “Now, in addition to these traits, he (the leftist- ed.) defaults to thinking that what he doesn’t see is not there, or what he does not understand does not exist. At the core, he tends to mistake the unknown for the nonexistent.”
      ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder

      Liked by 1 person

  9. RINOKiller says:

    Never seen such counter response to questions since Reagan!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. feralcatsblog says:

    Trump just went from 7.8% ahead of Carson to 12.0% ahead of Carson in the HuffPo tracking of 32 polls.

    Pollster Trend

      Donald Trump 31.1%
      Ben Carson 19.1%
      Marco Rubio 12.7%
      Ted Cruz 10.5%
      Jeb Bush 6.2%
      Mike Huckabee 2.8%
      Carly Fiorina 2.7%
      Rand Paul 2.7%
      Chris Christie 2.2%
      John Kasich 2.0%
      Bobby Jindal 0.8%
      Rick Santorum 0.6%
      Lindsey Graham 0.3%
      Jim Gilmore 0.0%
      George Pataki 0.0%

    Liked by 3 people

    • zephyrbreeze says:

      When is Trump dropping out? NEVER!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Benson II says:

      Happiness to me will be to see Carson in the single digits or out, he’s so unqualified to be pres. it staggers the imagination to see why he is a candidate. Very happy Rand never got out of single digits and Jeb…well all you can have is pity for him and he is after all the most truthful of all the losers. Wrong truths for America but truthful.


    • craigusc says:

      Not too shabby on the upside, too. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • yheitman says:

      I love Trump but the thing that scares me about the HuffPo poll numbers is that as these candidates begin to drop out, how many of their supporters are going to go to Trump?

      That’s how the GOPe is planning on winning. To bring together the minuscule percentages that each of these splitters are carrying and deliver them to the final establishment choice that looks like Rubio with Cruz as an outlier. At one time that establishment choice was Jeb but he turned out to be a disappointment because he’s ineffective against Trump. Jeb, the weak frat boy, would have been creamed by Hillary. If a small fraction of the supporters of all the rest of the candidates go to Trump, he holds. Trump is the only one who can beat Hillary so I pray as candidates begin to drop out they’ll embrace that Trump is the only one who can bring about the change we need.


  11. zephyrbreeze says:

    Donald the amateur politician:

    “Amateurs in any discipline are the best, if you can connect with them. Unlike dilettantes, career professionals are to knowledge what prostitutes are to love.”
    ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder


  12. sammyhains says:

    Chuck Todd pathetically says “what if they have no place to go?”
    As if they aren’t CITIZENS OF ANOTHER COUNTRY.

    They aren’t our responsibility. They have a home, and it isn’t our country.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. cardinalmike says:

    Trump was on the Laura Ingraham show if someone has a way to capture the audio and bring it the Treehouse.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Aj Madison says:


    Today’s Morning Consult National Poll

    Trump 38, Carson 19, Cruz 7, Marco 7, Jeb 6 – others all below 3



  15. Great post, SD! So right about owning the downside. When I was involved in a hot, hot, hot political campaign to abolish urban renewal in our town, the elites whined about our side, “They are just telling half-truths!” Aside from the fact that it was a weird complaint, my answer was instant and repeated whenever I was challenged, “OF COURSE we are! We are telling the OTHER half!”


  16. mariner says:

    From our early history, another example of “owning the downside”…

    Patrick Henry: “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third — ”

    Other delegates: “Treason! Treason!”

    Patrick Henry: “…may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.”


  17. Southern Son says:

    SUNDANCE, you always impress. I know DT is following you like we are. I only come down from the tree, after I have absorbed your research and read the comments from fellow Treepers. This community has been built by your hands with Love, and it shows. I am proud to be allowed to participate in this Great Vulgarian Uprising.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Attorney says:

    Great, great piece! Treehouse hit it on the nail. Trump appears to be honest in his positions, not pandering to the whole world with obvious lies. I will admit I have some concerns about him. And unlike many in the audience, could live with Cruz and Fiorina (or at least vote for them). The others, no freaking way. But Trump is my man, 110%. Because I know that despite concerns about Trump, I believe he will do what he says – or try to – and of the others, I am almost absolutely certain that their word is no good. Could be true of Trump as well, but given that he is willing to not pander to the world, the odds are best that he is telling us the truth. And of the others, most have already been proven liars.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s