Let's see if I got this right. According to Richard Cohen ["The '50s Are Back," op-ed, June 22]:

(1) The GOP is "dumb as a post."

(2) Pat Robertson is a "smiling bigot."

(3) Those who believe homosexuality is unnatural or morally wrong are "homophobic."

(4) People who disagree with the Supreme Court's decision to prohibit public schools from displaying the Ten Commandments and push for that freedom are engaging in "irritating irrelevancies."

(5) The Republican Party has aligned itself with "ignorant preachers," become identified with "small-town, small-minded America" and comes across as "the party of meanness, smallness, pettiness."

Then, moderated only by the statement that "not all Republicans endorse such positions . . . and some Democrats do," he wraps up this name-calling diatribe by saying that "what scares so many of us" is that Republicans are intolerant.

Thanks for lighting the way to better balance and open-mindedness.

-- Paul Whittemore

Richard Cohen is mainly on the mark about the dumbing of the GOP, but I came to a halt when he equated small-mindedness with small towns. He has been reading too much Sinclair Lewis and hanging out in too few small towns, where he might find open-minded people who manage to combine Republican allegiances with genuine kindness and gentleness of heart. (Some day, I hope, they will realize that they aren't really Republicans at all.)

-- Barbara Holland