(CNSNews.com) -- Young leadership is vital to the country and the conservative movement, said Bay Buchanan, the U.S. treasurer under President Ronald Reagan, at the Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
In her speech, Buchanan encouraged the students to find a specific topic for which they have a passion, something that is not just in their head, but in their heart.
“Leaders do not back away from those things which are so important to them because it’s too controversial,” she said. “If they do, the other side will make certain they make it too controversial.”
Buchanan also encouraged the students to have conversations regarding controversial topics with their peers in classes or with their peers who hold opposing views to strengthen their argumentative skills.
Allowing conservative speakers on campus -- Ann Coulter at the University of California-Berkley, for instance, and Ben Shapiro at the University of Wisconsin-Madison -- has become a hot topic across the nation.
“They say they’re offended,” said Buchanan in reference to leftist critics. “What’s offensive about us expressing who we are, what we believe in? That’s the dialogue taking place on college campuses.”
During her White House days, Buchanan had the opportunity to get to know Ronald Reagan well and she said he was a great leader because he saw the day-to-day struggles of Americans and was inspired to be a better leader as a result.
“Leadership is key to this nation,” said Buchanan, sister of the famous writer and presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan. “Why is it, do you think, the Founding Fathers put in the very First Amendment that you cannot abridge … freedom of speech? My freedom of speech, that is what we are fighting for. Each and every one of us have been given this incredible gift by our Founding Fathers.”
Bay Buchanan was the national treasurer of the “Reagan for President” primary campaigns of 1976 and 1980, and she chaired Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaigns. Bay Buchanan was a regular commentator for CNN’s Inside Politics and The Situation Room. She also co-hosted Equal Time on CNBC and MSNBC. She is the author of The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton.