The neo-classical values of the traditional South are evident in the way Southerners compliment each other and think of virtuous leaders. Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese write in The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholder’s Worldview:
Southerners could pay a man no greater tribute than to characterize him as “Roman.” Thus, Thomas Jefferson called Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina, Speaker of the House of Representatives, “the last of the Romans,” and John Randolph of Roanoke called him “the wisest and best man” he knew. George Frederick Holmes, Hugh Legaré, and Macon himself exalted Cicero as a model republican citizen. David Street of Tennessee pronounced [John C.] Calhoun comparable to Cicero, a statesman whose devotion to republican principles cost him his life but left for posterity a name that conjures up virtue and love of freedom. Alexander Stephens took Cicero’s dialogues as the model for his Constitutional View of the War Between the States.
The virtuous Southern leader is conspicuously absent from the ranks of Republican politicians in Dixie today. They have sold out their countrymen and worship at the alter of Big Business.
Also see: A Cicero for Dixie