Robert C. Koehler

Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 8:30am
Cowardice and Exoneration in Kunduz
“The people are being reduced to blood and dust. They are in pieces.” The doctor who uttered these words still thought the hospital itself was a safe zone. He was with Doctors Without Borders, working in Kunduz, Afghanistan, where the Taliban and government forces were engaged in hellish fighting...
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Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 10:30am
Opening the Closed Political Culture
The headline , from the Los Angeles Times , hit me like a sucker punch: “Voters’ ‘Bernie or Bust’ efforts persist despite Sanders’ vow not to be another Ralph Nader.” Actually, it was worse than that. When my brain cleared, I realized I was, once again, caught in a media straitjacket. "The...
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Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 1:45pm
The New Enlightenment?
What remains endlessly hinted at about the 2016 presidential race, but not fully articulated, is that something enormous — bigger than politics, bigger than America itself, perhaps — is trembling and kicking just below the surface, struggling to emerge. I have a name to suggest for this...
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Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 9:00am
Creating Resilient Communities
“Conflict happens in isolation.” Wow, that’s it. A sense of awareness ignited as I listened to Kristin Famula, president of the National Peace Academy , make this seldom-acknowledged observation. When we feel wronged, violated, disrespected, suddenly we’re alone with our careening emotions. Indeed...
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Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 8:45am
Democracy Free-for-All
Here in America, we celebrate democracy by staying in touch with the lack of it. What better way to honor our ancestors’ struggles to win the right to vote — and have that vote counted — than to have to struggle ourselves for the same thing? Considering that, as I wrote four years ago, “democracy...
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Thursday, March 31, 2016 - 8:15am
Playing with Guns (at the GOP Convention)
You shouldn’t play with guns, unless you do it the way “Jim” apparently did. His gun play — a (seemingly) satirical petition at change.org — has enveloped the looming Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer in awkward surrealism and forced the three Republican presidential...
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Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 7:00am
Recovery from Militarism
The pols cry glory and revenge. They cry security. They cry greatness. Then they stick in the needle, or the missile or the rifle shell, or the nuclear bomb. Or at least they imagine doing so. This will fix the world. And they approve more funding for war. U.S. militarism, and the funding — and the...
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Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 8:15am
This Is What Democracy Looks Like
The snaking line was more than a mile long. Thousands of us had been waiting for hours in the bitter cold to get into Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre to hear Bernie Sanders speak. It was Monday night. The Illinois and four other state primaries were the next day and, as has been the case for the last...
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Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 8:30am
Politics and the Golden Rule
"What I’m not trying to do is just pass legislation. I’m trying to change the face of American politics.” Pull these words out of the context of “the news” and let them pulse like the heartbeat of the future. The words are those of Bernie Sanders, of course — engaged last week in a confrontational...
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Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 7:00am
War, Peace, and Bernie Sanders
It’s the day after the big vote and I’m doing my best to dig Tulsi Gabbard’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders out from beneath the pile of Super Tuesday numbers and media declarations of winners and losers. As a Boston Globe headline put it: “Clinton and Trump are now the presumptive nominees. Get...
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