Many years ago, my mentor, teacher, and role model in this crazy business and life was a guy named Russ Baldwin. Russ had a few golden rules to live by, but like most young bucks who know everything, it took a while for me to realize that he knew what he was talking about, and I knew nothing at all. He was patient with me, and eventually, it paid off. I know a little bit about a lot of things, but I don't know everything, far from it.

Russ believed in keeping things simple and real. Don't complicate the uncomplicated. He believed in young people and the power of simply engaging with them. But Russ also believed in the power of positivity. He would always say, "Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Don't mess with Mister In-between."

Now, those weren't Russ Baldwin's words. They are lyrics to a World War II-era song by Johnny Mercer, but they were his creed, his motto. He lived those words. Russ made a difference in the lives of a lot of youngsters. He believed in them and taught them to believe in themselves. He made a difference.

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Russ Baldwin was famous for another saying, "We're doomed!" He would utter this phrase when hope appeared in short in supply. When the odds seemed long for even the upbeat Russ Baldwin, you might see him look up to the heavens and proclaim, "We're doomed." Russ usually did this in jest but it got the message across.

After several days of watching Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, and the others at the G-7 meetings, the voice of my friend Russ Baldwin sounds clearly in my head, "We're doomed!"

Biden is a lightweight, but it suddenly occurs to me that so are the rest of the G-7 leaders. This is the JV team. There are no Trumps or Reagans to stand up to the Chinese, Russians, and Iranians, and they know it.

We really are doomed.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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