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

Even now, palms can grasp palms, at least in spirit, across the borders that we can see, at last, are not real. (Photo: jotily/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, March 26, 2020
The Virus Is Our Teacher
Last Sunday at 11 a.m. I went for a walk. Even if it’s nothing special, a walk isn’t a normal thing to do these days. But this brief walk — around the block, consuming maybe ten minutes of my time — had a transcendent dimension to it that continues to awe me, and I’m going to do it again. It was a...
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Just as all of us are, of necessity, isolated from each other, we are all participants, via our creative empathy, in this shift in human consciousness. (Photo: Bart/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Creative Empathy in a Pandemic
One thing about a pandemic: It’s inclusive. We cannot survive it, move beyond it, by protecting merely some people. We have to protect everyone. Of all the disruption, paradox and chaos that have been unleashed by the coronavirus, this is the most stunning: It has something to teach us that we...
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We live in a dangerous and paradoxical world. (Photo: Banaras Khan/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, March 12, 2020
War, Profit and the Coronavirus
If you want expertise, don’t bother reading any further here. I know as much about coronavirus as any stunned disbeliever with a sudden, irresistible urge to touch his face. This is a news story that’s spookily personal — far more personal, somehow, than all those other ongoing horror stories out...
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Voters who waited absurdly long hours in line to cast their ballots, or even would-be voters who were unable to vote. I wonder how Sanders did among these categories? (Photo: Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, March 05, 2020
The True Meaning of Super Tuesday
A gush of corporate relief fills the airwaves as Super Tuesday becomes history. A progressive wave was not electorally visible as the Democratic status quo consolidated itself behind Joe Biden and won nine or maybe ten states. I was feeling a lot more hope when Super Tuesday began than I’m feeling...
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Democratic presidential candidates participate the presidential primary debate at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Bernie's Very Welcome Assault on Our Cliché of Greatness
“Excuse me, occasionally it might be a good idea to be honest about American foreign policy.” I don’t think I’ve heard that much honesty from a mainstream-party presidential candidate in virtually half a century. And suddenly this race begins to matter in a way that seems like . . . oh my God, a...
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Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg speaks during the kickoff of his "Get it Done Express" bus tour as a protester holds up a sign reading "Billionaires Should Not Buy Elections" at the Dollarhide Community Center in Compton, California on February 3, 2020. (Photo: Frederic J. Bown / AFP/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, February 13, 2020
The Wall: Separating Democracy From Voters
The mainstream media imposes some serious certainties on the 2020 presidential election that drive me into a furious despair, e.g.: Even though Bernie Sanders, winner of the first two Democratic primaries, is now leading in the national polls, he “can’t and won’t” be the party’s nominee “because in...
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Volunteers for No More Deaths in the Sonoran desert. (Photo: Volunteers for No More Deaths in the desert/Carrot Quinn) Views
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Voting With Food and Water
A bad app in Iowa throws everything into a tizzy. Who won? Come on, the horse race has begun. Let’s get some numbers up on the board. Spectator Nation stomps its feet. Voting is the activity at the core of democracy, right? It’s a citizen’s sacred duty. While I have always believed this, questions...
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War is hell in all directions, and perhaps it’s time to question the sanity of trying to maneuver hell for your own advantage. (Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Maneuvering Hell for Our Advantage
When the mainstream media writes about war, even critically, the image that often comes to mind for me is an infant wrapped in plastic. That infant is naked reality, a.k.a., the present moment, suffocating and screaming for its life; the plastic smothering it are the journalistic euphemisms by...
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 This nation’s lack of atonement for its past—combined with the endless wars it is currently waging—make King’s legacy profoundly problematic, by which I mean relevant. (Photo: Underwood Archives/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, January 23, 2020
FBI, King and the Tremors of History
Nothing like trying to rewrite history. Remember way back when, when America was one nation under God and everyone got along so nicely? That was the sentiment of an FBI tweet on Martin Luther King Day, which — oh, the horror! — blew up in the agency’s face and brought a real fragment of the Old...
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We’re the greatest military superpower on the planet, and this fact is consuming our ability to think and act in a rational and humane manner.  (Photo: Ralf Schlesener/ICAN) Views
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Nuclear Hubris
One thing that becomes clear to me when I wander into the world, and the minds, of geopolitical professionals—government people—is how limited and linear their thinking seems to be. When I do so, an internal distress signal starts beeping and won’t stop, especially when the issue under discussion...
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