John McCain is Sparta, Barack Obama is Athens

10/06/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I found in the McCain-Palin speeches the clarion call for a modern day Sparta in their appeal to blind patriotism and triumphalism, and their manipulation of the least educated, most terrified among us.

I imagined myself a German in Berlin in the 1930s having been shamed after World War I and later on in Moscow in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and most of the Russian economy. The appeal to patriotism, the fear of foreign elements among us, the embrace of the glory days and sacrifices of yesteryear, the refusal to admit American error in foreign policy, the worship of false idols, the call to faith and flag--these and more can be found in the mind-numbing speeches given by not just McCain and Palin but the rest of the Republican elite on display in Minneapolis.

I think Pat Buchanan's 1988 Presidential campaign call for a "Culture War" and call for the "Pitchfork Peasants" to rise up and impale the rest of us are embodied in McCain's and Palin's appeal.

That this has a chance of working is scary.