Suffolk Junior Sam Racioppi Runs for Congress
Amid the thousands of students here at Suffolk University, Sam Racioppi is going above and beyond to get his name out there. Racioppi is running for a seat in the United States Congress as a Libertarian.
Racioppi, a Newburyport, Massachusetts native who now lives in Salisbury, Massachusetts, is a current junior at Suffolk University, majoring in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He needs to get 2,000 signatures in order to get his name on the ballot and is working hard to get his political party better known.
Racioppi grew up in a household where learning about our basic rights as humans was extremely important and he has continued to believe in the importance of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution all throughout his life. He believes in State’s Rights, and that the freedoms we are guaranteed in the Constitution are some of the most important freedoms we have as Americans. Those freedoms and rights are what Racioppi views as some of the reasons that immigrants emigrate to our country.
Racioppi served in the United States Army as a Calvary Scout, which he credits as a time that really educated him on the importance of communicating with people and working to assist other countries instead of turning to violence or the military as the first option to solve problems.
Right as Racioppi was finishing his time in the Army, he was seeing an intrusion on the basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution; an intrusion that made him want to get involved in politics and fight for the libertarian cause.
“The first election I participated in was the Gore v. Bush election, but I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to politics itself until Obama was elected the first time around,” said Racioppi. “I was seeing that it didn’t matter what party held the power-Democrats or Republicans. We were still seeing the same invasion of basic human liberties. It didn’t matter what the party platform was; Americans were seeing a huge intrusion in their basic rights guaranteed in the Constitution by our own government.”
Seeing this as a huge problem, Racioppi has vowed to remain in a party who so strongly believes in the individual and allowing them to make the decisions that are best for them. Racioppi explained how he sees how the country should be run in a simple way.
“It starts with the individual. That individual knows what’s best for them and should be allowed to make decisions based on what is best for them and their well being. Those decisions may not be the best for me, or for someone else.
“Around that person is the first circle: local or city ordinances. This is the closest authority to the individual; these laws govern roads, buildings, etc. Around that circle is the state government. These governments are the ones who should be able to create their laws (as long as they are Constitutional). These laws may not be the same as the next state over, but that’s the point. The laws will differ state to state; one state may have a certain healthcare system while another will have a different one. Although the federal government is the next circle above the state governments, we want as little intrusion from them as possible.”
This idea of state rights and the individual governing themself is the best way Racioppi thinks a system can work. These Libertarian beliefs can be traced back to philosophers and books that Raccioppi has studied.
Although we live in a government system that is so structured by Democrats and Republicans, Racioppi sees these books and philosophers as proof that the beliefs of the Libertarian Party are structured and consistent, versus the beliefs of the Democratic and Republican parties that Racioppi describes as “a boat without a sail.” He sees so many inconsistencies with both parties and their platforms, and points to the Libertarian party as some type of middle ground that reflects the best for the individual.
Racioppi is aware that the political party he belongs to may not be the most popular.
“I know what most people think, it’s on my mind too, how can a libertarian possibly win an election?” Racioppi said. “But even if I don’t win, there’s still a way to influence the candidate who does succeed. If I can voice my beliefs and the beliefs of this party and I can influence voters to see this side, they may be able to influence the winner to make decisions based on my party’s beliefs. The Libertarian Party can still make an influence on politics regardless of winning. And if i can do that, we do succeed in a way.”
In the meantime, Racioppi will continue to work with his campaign manager to focus on the next several weeks, whether it be events to organize, fundraisers to gain money and support, and finding volunteers to help with the campaign.
He also will continue his studies at Suffolk, where he is very happy he transferred to back in 2015. Racioppi came from Hillsdale College in Michigan, which he describes as a “conservative Harvard.”
“I really thought I would fit in there, but it turned out that I didn’t. I wanted to come back to a school in Boston and I chose Suffolk,” Racioppi said. “I really love it here, and I really feel like I belong. Although this school has a reputation to be a liberal campus where, first thought, with my political beliefs I may not fit in too well, but I feel just right here.”
On campus, Racioppi is a member of the Young Americans Foundation, which focuses on helping young people find their voice and encourages the importance of liberty and human rights. He also does a weekly radio show called “No Step on Snake” radio, which runs from 4 PM-5 PM on Thursdays; he and a fellow Suffolk student discuss libertarian policy and current events. Racioppi is also a member of MassCann, a group who works to reform marijuana laws in Massachusetts, and educate citizens on how cannabis can improve our lives. Fixing the opioid crisis is a huge personal goal for Racioppi, and that is one thing he really wants to focus on as a politician. Another aspect that Racioppi thinks is extremely important may seem simple: just listen to each other.
“We need to take the time to understand everyone’s point of view, no matter how much they differ from each other,” said Racioppi. “It’s so important that we listen to each other and try to understand why we feel and think the way that we do without the name-calling.
“We have to have a society where debate and conversation is encouraged and where healing each other should be a goal that everyone has.”
Information to volunteer, donate and contact Racioppi can be found at http://www.samsonforcongress.com/.