He could feel in her what he felt in his own mother—in every good mother—love of order and peace, love of the well being of her children, love of public respect and private honor and morality.
Theodore Dreiser – The Genius (1915)
Sometimes a quote leaps off the page. As an ideal it sets all kinds of guilty hares running.
I think so – yes.
Ideals are not realities because they don’t have to be. They remind us of many things, of standards we understand but don’t always observe. In Dreiser's day this one was widely seen as central to the single most important thing we do – propagating the species. As far as one can tell it isn’t coming back - we have political ideals instead.