Meet Robert Rapp

Robert Rapp2

Who first told you about JSA? 

I found out about JSA from a brochure that had been thrown in the garbage in my high school counselor’s office. I’d gone in to talk to him about the Close-up Foundation. My guidance counselor, Mr. Stevens, reached into his trash can and pulled out a JSA brochure and said, “This sounds a bit like the Close-Up Foundation, but better.” Pulling that brochure out of the trash was the only useful thing Mr. Stevens ever did for me.

If you could have lunch with any elected figure, living or dead, whom would you choose and what would you want served for lunch?

Julius Caesar. For lunch: The heads of my enemies.

What is your favorite political movie and how many times have you watched it? 

“Wag the Dog.” Probably watched it 10 times. I like it because it isn’t cynical in any way what-so-ever.

What is objectively the worst pizza topping?

Pineapple. Should be illegal as a pizza topping.

If you had to give up Google, your cell phone or chocolate, which would you choose? 


Do you have a favorite JSA memory or JSA story that sticks with you (that can be repeated to a wide audience)?

My favorite JSA memory relates to Catholic University and JSA Summer School. It’s really a memory of a set experiences. It was meeting nearly all of the Reagan Administration Cabinet Secretaries. At some point during that summer school, I realized that I was experiencing something truly historic, something that couldn’t be repeated, even as an adult.

If you could pick a person, working in a field other than politics, and instantly make him or her President of the United States, who would it be, and why?

Jeff Bezos because he is so disruptive. I’m not sure he would tolerate it, but he might be pretty good at it.

Chuck the electoral college, Yes or No?

Chuck it. Like the 2nd Amendment, it has outlived its usefulness.

Multiple Choice: What did you do with your JSA best speaker gavels? 1. Sold them on Ebay, 2. Put them in a box in the garage, 3. Display them to this day on your mantle, 4. Your mother has them. Other:

I donated them to the Smithsonian.

What legacy that started with JSA carries on with you to this day?

The interest, willingness, and skill set to disagree without being disagreeable, and to listen to and take interest in opinions that I find very difficult. Those skills are the single best part of JSA for me.

Why is JSA unique?

JSA was the first time that adults ever trusted me and my peers to do responsible things with a minimal amount of interference.


September 01, 2018