Cynicism is not only the easiest, but often the most accurate approach to American politics. That’s especially true with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who has made a remarkable career of marketing himself as a product, adjusting the sales pitch with every shifting market exigency.

So I can’t blame the many pundits out there who are casting a little shade upon Romney’s speech Thursday morning, delivering a thorough and effective criticism of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. But in this one case, I think they’re wrong. I think Romney is, for once, just doing the right thing.

Talk on the cable news networks, before and after his speech, rarely drifted far from speculation that Romney is trying to become the Republican nominee himself. Journalists and political commentators on Twitter honed in on Trump’s eagerly-received 2012 endorsement, which, they say, undermines Romney’s credibility in criticizing him now.

Others are saying that if he was really so concerned about Trump, Romney should have made this speech months ago, and endorsed another candidate.

Believe me, I’ve been first in line with similar and worse aspersions against Romney’s motives, many times.

But Romney is nothing if not a traditionalist, with a true devotion to decorum, rules, and propriety. Sure, his definitions of those boundaries might differ from yours or mine: He, for instance, thought it unseemly for his fellow college students to protest the Vietnam War, and he thinks nothing of lying outright about a political opponent.

Still, he disdains the crossing of those lines he believes in. And he crossed a huge one today. It was no small thing—almost unprecedented—for a party’s former standard-bearer to publicly criticize a major candidate for the presidential nomination. It simply isn’t done. Certainly not in the carpet-bombing, not-fit-for-office, no-walking-it-back way Romney unloaded on Trump Thursday.

I don’t think he would have done it unless he truly believed that Trump is a serious danger to the Republican Party, and to America, and that someone with stature in the party needed to stand up and say so.

I also suspect that a big reason he believes that is Trump’s own lack of decorum and propriety.

Whether Romney’s speech makes a difference remains to be seen. It won’t dissuade the pro-Trump third of the GOP electorate, and another third or so are already firmly anti-Trump. It’s that persuadable third who will determine whether Trump arrives at the Cleveland convention with a majority or mere plurality of delegates.

More voices than Romney’s will be needed to accomplish that, and to follow Romney’s lead they’ll need to believe, unlike the punditry, that his message is genuine.