• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 23 comments on Is DeSantis the New Trump? And Other Thoughts from the Midterms

  1. Why is this article accompanied by pictures of red waves? That graphic depicts a misleading message. Understand what “political waves” are. Certainly not wins that are much smaller than expected. Or losses.

  2. Where did anyone ever get the idea that Republicans want to dismantle Social Security? This rumor has persisted ever since Newt Gingrich was quoted out of context a generation ago. I was surprised to see it repeated above. At this point, Social Security is so deeply embedded that it really couldn’t be eliminated. Granted, the rise of 401Ks has improved the landscape for many retirees, but Social Security is still a component. Many don’t plan for retirement and will remain largely dependent on Social Security.

    Red wave? Red ripple? I’d say it’s more like a rising tide. As an undergrad, I recall my professor reminding us students that political values change slowly — over generations — and not to over-read any instant change as a trend. Society generally trends away from extremes. Whichever party figures this out will win next time around. This election was a huge win for moderate Republicans, but not for the extremists.

    1. You are right, society does trend away from “extremes”, but the definition of what is extreme is ever changing. It used to be extreme for African-Americans to be free, for women to vote, for gays to have the same legal rights as married heterosexuals. Those things are not seen as extreme anymore. Banning books, outlawing certain types of abortions/medical procedures, outlawing gay marriage etc are being pushed by a certain part of today’s GOP, and THAT is seen as extreme in today’s general society. To think this weeks mid-term elections with high gas prices, high inflation (worldwide) and a President with approval ratings in high-thirties may still hold a voting majority in the Senate and only lose 15 to 8 seats in House, is a rejection by this county of extremism.

  3. DeSantis is an amazing leader, just like Trump. He is all about freedom and anti wokeness. His tough on crime policies protect Americans from thugs, unlike democrats. This is one of the reasons why people are leaving blue states and relocating to Florida. Democrats caters to thugs. Thugs love that bail reform policies that keeps them out of jail. Also, Trump is considered one of the best President ever, but DeSantis could supersede that one day.

    1. I’m a former Floridian who thanks his lucky stars every day that he now lives in Massachusetts. My parents can’t wait to leave Florida and the rising tide of MAGA residents and join me up here. It’s all subjective.

    2. Trump was one of the worst Presidents we’ve ever had. He tried to convince people he could run the country and his organization at the same time but he actually could not do either correctly evidenced by his two impeachments and three bankruptcies. While he did have some good ideas at times, his personality did not allow him to effectively implement those strategies. Trump and DeSantis will split the Republican Party and make it harder to gain a majority. If Trump is as sore a loser against DeSantis as he was against President Biden, then he will sabotage the GOP with his sour grapes attitude.

    1. Open minded to your assertion that Desantis has done terrible things – could you provide some thoughtful examples (or at least one example). Just saying it without any other info to back it up does not add anything useful to the conversation.

      On the other hand I can think of a few significant things he did that seem to have worked pretty well. For instance, he kept Florida schools open during Covid which we are now coming to realize was probably the right things to do. We are also learning that places where schools were closed have had a huge negative impact on kids’ learning and mental health.

      Furthermore the state’s economy weathered the pandemic reasonably well with the mortality rate being about the same as the national average (middle-of-the-pack of all states) even though the state has a large population and is the oldest in the country. Desantis resisted shutting down schools and businesses which has proven in hindsight to be the better policy. For comparison, California’s did shut down schools and businesses from which people suffered greatly but the mortality rate was about the same as Florida’s.

      Going on this alone would in my mind make Desantis a pretty good governor.

    2. Megan, I would echo Sam’s comments about providing some examples of these “terrible things” that you allude to… Also, “he is disgusting” how exactly..? Some substance might be useful… Simply hurling insults and slander without basis seems to convey extreme bias and ignorance…

  4. The BU Today tag lines is “News, Opinion, Community.” Can we drop the News and Community and just call it “Opinion”? I tried to read the article above about the Midterm elections however the writer’s bias was so loud I couldn’t hear the message through all their rhetoric. The fact BU Today would rather espouse their own opinions than report on current events make it hardly worthy of being called “news” and definitely is not fostering any type of “community”. “Opinion” is the only representative sentiment from the tagline so why not be honest about it?

    This story and the fact the BU Today wrote an earlier headline that compared Republicans to Fascist, illustrate how Liberal and far Left leaning BU Today is. If the reader can tell a journalist’s personal political leanings, they have failed in their role. BU Today leave no doubt that their views are in absolute lock step alignment with the opinions and agenda of Democratic Party political positions. Journalism is dead in 2022. I just wish the pundits trying to fill the void left would stop masquerading as if what they were propagating was anything other than conjecture and their own skewed opinions. The original trend this story touched on but that the writers failed to accurately interpret or contextualize was that the actions and policies of the Democratic party have been a bridge too far for most Americans. Democrats has lost reaching a meeting of the minds with majority of the country and through that breakdown the support of the majority of American. A divide has formed between the positions and values of the mass versus the extreme views of the left and direction Progressives champion to move America toward. Among those dissenters are parents and student that are tired of Institutions of Higher Education’s usurp their duty to education as the instead exhibit the proclivity to push woke indoctrination. What students want are a return to traditional teaching wherein professors leave their own political positions and prejudices out of the classroom and approach to subject matter on the basis of concepts free of biased personal commentary. With as radicalized as universities have gotten is that even possible anymore?

  5. Regardless of party, our culture is being crushed by a surge of immoral behavior towards our children, a complete failure of our Education system in teaching our children adequate skills to compete with the rest of the world, and a total disregard for Freedom of Speech/Thought for those who disagree with us. China must “copy” all of our “Innovative” ideas, because they all stem from the ability to think “Freely”- when you remove this, you are left with nothing. Elon Musk apparently understands this- our top Universities obviously don’t.

  6. Your six “experts” demonstrate your commitment to the completely tone-deaf echo chamber of academia. I encourage you (authors and readers) to bravely venture out into regions of this country that aren’t within eyeshot of BU’s campus, and you may be shocked to see how disconnected your opinions are from basically anyone who doesn’t spend their entire adult life hiding from the world within the walls of a university.

    1. As mentioned above I am open to hearing more specific ideas about what is so detestable about conservatism – hint: like liberalism, it’s not all one thing, not all good and not all bad, which is why it’s helpful to be specific.

      But your comment sounds hateful, extreme and intolerant. It does not add anything to the discourse and only perpetuates more hate without solving any actual problems that the country faces. It would be helpful for liberals and conservatives to look inward at the part both play in destroying sane political engagement.

      People should be vigorously arguing about ideas and solutions, rather than spitting hatred at political opponents. People should be looking for evidence about which policies work best in the real world and arguing accordingly.

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