Robert Koehler: The more gun homicides the country endures, the more people feel the need to be armed in order to protect themselves, which simply — paradoxically — feeds the problem.
Robert Koehler: What stunned me about this relatively small national controversy wasn’t so much the fact that Ryan’s action blew up in his face and he wound up having to “unfire” Father Conroy, but the fact that the prayer got to him in the first place.
Robert Koehler: The ICE raids are justified with the ignorance of racism and war — and with an ignorance of the values that were once this country’s claim (shaky as it may have been) to greatness. The actual values the raids do uphold have a certain familiarity, however.
Robert Koehler: The grotesque photographs of dangling corpses are American history, far more than the simplistic heritage represented by the statues of Confederate generals.
Robert Koehler: If the slaughter of innocent people can be folded so neatly into a phrase, “mass shooting,” allowing us to categorize one, then another, then another act of senseless carnage and file it away as recent history, then move on with our lives, might that not be a serious cause of the nothing-we-can-do-about-it syndrome gripping America?
Robert Koehler: What, I wondered, if we started facing our fears instead of living in fear? To do so, we have to find wisdom in the maw of power.
Robert Koehler: We live in a deeply problematic and unfair world, but suddenly social awareness has solidified around the wrongness of sexual abuse, so much so that powerful men are feeling the sting of accountability for stupid and cruel behavior that until recently seemed consequence-free.
Robert Koehler: Forty years later, I find myself coming to grips with the fact that women’s rights have been only partially implemented and the social change they have wrought remains superficial.
Robert Koehler: Trump, you might say, is the logical consequence of a passive, spectator citizenry: a “leader” who tweets the unconscious impulses — the fears and hatreds — of his supporters and delivers one comforting scapegoat after another for the public to revile.
Robert Koehler: Both victim and defendant must choose to be a part of this process, which involves, in lieu of traditional court proceedings, the convening of a peace circle in which all those impacted by the crime are given the chance to talk about how the incident affected them.
Robert Koehler: Only beyond the context of war are there any options at all. Only beyond the context of war does humanity have any hope of avoiding suicide.
Robert Koehler: The Marshall Islands, which had gained independence in 1986, filed a lawsuit, both in in the International Court of Justice and U.S. federal court, against the nine nations that possess nuclear weapons.
Robert Koehler: Whether or not he’s impeached, or removed from office via the 25th Amendment, his effect on the country won’t go away. Trump can’t be undone, any more than an act of terror — or war — can be undone.