Oh dear, Jonathan Hayes. Your letter of Feb. 8 whines about Rebecca Stillwell’s observation that your attempt to label President Obama as a “low-rent peasant” was “vaguely racist.” Sorry, Ms. Stillwell. You’re wrong! It was blatantly racist, rising to the level of many of a certain ilk who referred to Michelle Obama as “an ape in heels.”

Mr. Hayes, in December you defended Messrs. Benton and Avery, rationalizing that their racism and support of slavery was acceptable because other nations, Native Americans, and some of the 1 percent (oops, that’s me) practiced slavery. This seems to contradict your belief that slavery was evil. Period. Look up cognitive dissonance. 

As for liberal critics who refer to you as one of the “knuckle-dragging Neanderthal rednecks” yada, yada, yada: Obviously, those critics are ignorant knee-jerkers. Neanderthals were bright and walked on two legs. On the other hand, I think many in the alt-right were the first in their communities to walk up-right.

The 2013 “low-rent peasant” government shutdown occurred over the GOP demand to end Obamacare that closed off the WW II Memorial? Dude! All of them were closed, including the Korean War Memorial, to me the most profound (even though I have friends whose names appear on the Vietnam Memorial). Eleven times as many UN soldiers were killed as Americans in Korea. Five times as many went missing.

I’m a progressive, not a liberal. I lost friends over my harsh criticisms of President Obama’s various stances. I’d vote for him again.

Michael Coolen

Corvallis (Feb. 8)

Editor's note: Because of an editing error, this letter to the editor was published in Tuesday's edition without a signature. We're republishing the letter in its entirety and apologize for the mistake. 

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