The short outline on Romantic Love, it is the model for the young girl in the West, being in love with love. Her hero has no flaws and he will walk through fire and slay dragons for her– Not for sex, but for love. Romantic love roots are in Courtly Love, the practice of loving someone without any physical contact. Heroes of Romantic Love in the knightly times are reported to have worn the symbols of their woman into mock battle, the joust. Victorian guilt separates us from that past. So, I am not sure how pure the romantic love was in actually practice In the U.S. Over time, that quality was attached to the role of the cowboy in the Old West. Dime novels portrayed them as selfless heroes bent on beating the bad guys. Yes, pulp fiction existed during the Old West. The knowledge of its existence prior to then escapes me as I write.
In defense of the people in power, I can see how they moved so far so quickly. Poll driven politics took them off course. The democrats ran a government for eight years based on polls. To counter, the republicans felt they had to move left. And today, they continue to march in lock step to the left. Immigration, health care, education they are ready to throw the party over-board as quickly as the Bostonians dispatched the tea.