It’s not like we didn’t already know this to be true, but clear departures from party lines, from lifelong Republicans and military mainstays like Colin Powell and James Matthis speak volumes about the GOP’s lack of cohesion. It’s known to be a party without much ideological drift, a fact that’s kept its numbers in line while progressives and more moderate democrats often seem like two separate parties altogether.

So while it’s relatively uneventful in itself, the fact that Colin Powell is calling Trump a liar speaks to the brink that his disinfo and disregard for American unity has pushed his own party members to. Many of them, such as Powell, Matthis, and countless others who generally break ranks the moment they conclude their political careers, carry large amounts of credibility and respect among the typical Trump voter. 

In conversation with CNN’s Jake Tapper, documented in a piece in Politico, Powell remarked, “The one word I have to use — with respect to what he’s been doing for the last several years — is a word I would never have used before and I never would have used with any of the four presidents I have worked for: He lies. He lies about things. And he gets away with it, because people will not hold him accountable.”

It’s a disturbing reality when someone who’s spent decades working with presidents has never witnessed a degree of dishonesty quite like this. Powell’s planning to cast his vote for Joe Biden in November, and he wants the American people to have an honest conversation with themselves: “Every American citizen has to sit down, think it through and make a decision on their own. Don’t listen to everybody out there. Don’t read every newspaper. Think it through. Use your common sense and say, ‘Is this good for my country?’ before you say, ‘This is good for me.’”

You can read more of Colin Powell’s thoughts on the president and why he’s finally breaking ranks here.