He has lived all his life in the idea that there was a time a long time back when everything was run by high- minded, handsome men wearing knee breeches and silver buckles or Continental blue or frock coats, or even buck- skin and coonskin caps, as the case may be...who sat around a table and candidly debated the good of the public thing. It is because he is a romantic, and he has a picture of the world in his head, and when the world doesn't conform to the picture, he wants to throw the world away. Even if that means throwing out the baby with the bath. Which...it always does mean.
-- Robert Penn Warren, All The King's Men