As an American who spent my youth in Beirut during a brutal civil war, I have a keen sense of how Donald Trump’s words play. 

Donald’s attempt to exploit the Orlando massacre began with a series of disgusting tweets on the day of the shootings, continued with accusations that our president has a secret agenda to undermine America, and culminated in a speech laden with empty bluster and his juvenile idea of “tough talk.”

Here’s a taste of his dishonest and vile words:

Hillary’s plan is to disarm law-abiding Americans, abolishing the 2nd amendment, and leaving only the bad guys and terrorists with guns. No good. Not gonna happen, folks. Not gonna happen. Not gonna happen. [applause] Thank you. She wants to take away Americans’ guns, and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us. Let them come into the country, we don’t have guns, let them come in. Let them have all the fun they want.

And more…

Targeting an entire religion and making big, scary-sounding threats may feel satisfying to Donald, but it comes across as weak and frightened to the rest of the world.

Strength means tolerance.

Strength means compassion.

Strength means self-control.

Strength means foresight.

Strength means composure.

Strength means not being shaken by a single attacker.

Strength means preserving American values in the face of violence, not ditching them.

Strength means the confidence to defend timeless principles not to abandon them.

Donald Trump’s reaction to the Orlando killings betrays spinelessness and craven pandering, not strength.

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)