President Trump appeared to be going for impact Tuesday when he said a terrorist attack that killed at least 22 people the previous night in Manchester, England, was carried out by "evil losers in life." Speaking in Israel, the president explained why he chose the label.

"I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term," Trump said. "They would think that’s a great name. I will call them, from now on, losers because that’s what they are. They’re losers. And we’ll have more of them. But they’re losers. Just remember that."

Trump made a similar argument during the campaign, when he objected to the term "masterminds" and suggested "thugs and losers." His contention seems to be that we should choose our words carefully, avoiding descriptions that portray terrorists as smart, scary figures. Instead, we ought to use a term that holds them in low esteem.

Trump's thinking makes sense. The problem is that he often does not choose his words carefully and has therefore reduced the meaning of a term like "loser," which he has assigned rather liberally to political opponents such as Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, and to foils in the media, including CNN, Politico, the New York Daily News, Graydon Carter, Bill Kristol and S.E. Cupp.

Trump has called the "fake news media" — which, by his definition, includes the New York Times and major TV news networks — "the enemy of the American people." But even he probably does not consider journalists and terrorists to be in the same category.

There was that one time Trump suggested Cruz's father was connected to John F. Kennedy's assassin. But surely the president does not equate the Texas senator to a member of the Islamic State, right?

I'm being facetious, but there is a serious point here. Trump has used identical language to describe fellow Republicans, successful journalists and mass murderers. His over-the-top rhetoric in moments of minor dispute weakens his ability to deliver remarks with real force in times of genuine crisis.