The Forum: Bay Buchanan

Students and community members had the opportunity to hear about the political issues in our country from a leading conservative commentator

Macey VanDenMeerendonk

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Students and community members gathered in Schofield Auditorium to hear Bay Buchanan’s talk on political issues that have gone unaddressed.

The former U.S. Treasurer under Ronald Reagan’s presidency came to UW-Eau Claire Wednesday evening to discuss issues such as social security, immigration and abortion.

Bay Buchanan, at age 32, was the youngest federal treasurer when Reagan took office in 1981. She also spent time on Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign as an accountant. On Wednesday, she gave her presentation “The Issues Politicians Are Afraid to Talk About” to an audience in Schofield Auditorium.

One issue she spoke on was politicians’ concerns with reelection. She said there are politicians who focus on being reelected when they are supposed to be focusing on the promises they made to help make the country better while they are in office.

“They lack any leadership abilities,” Buchanan said. “The country suffers enormously, and it causes individuals to be hesitant to talk about real, important issues.”

On immigration, Buchanan said the issue went untouched until it became a critical issue the government had to address, which she said started during Reagan’s presidency.  

“Nobody did anything for years,” Buchanan said. “They didn’t talk about it, and it became an issue across the country for millions of Americans. They were impacted negatively because of what was happening, and finally Washington started addressing it when it became critical.”

Buchanan said over the years she has seen how successful the tactic of intimidation is in politics. She used the example if you are pro-life you become anti-woman and it goes both ways.

“It’s to intimidate the other side so they won’t discuss it and then you don’t have to defend it or make a case for it. It’s enormously successful,” Buchanan said.

Michael Konetz, a sophomore German education student said he was glad to have a conservative speaker come to campus.   

“I agreed with what she said, especially about presidential policies, and she raised some good points about leadership positions,” Konetz said.

Buchanan said advice she received from her brother Pat — who she considered her mentor — when she first began her political career is what she has used to get where she is today.

“Find a candidate you believe in,” Buchanan said. “Don’t worry about who’s going to win or lose; find somebody you believe in and then work your head off.”

Konetz said it’s important to have diversity on college campuses with political parties so everyone can have their voices heard and have opportunities for Republican speakers for students on campus.

“I think it’s important because everybody has the right to have their opinion expressed and I think it’s a good way for people to see new perspectives,” Konetz said.

Buchanan closed her presentation by giving the crowd advice on how they should make their voices heard in the world of politics. She said everyone has the right to express themselves. With that, they should be confident in what they believe and become readily able to hold discussions with people who disagree.

“If you want to be a leader,” Buchanan said. “We need people who go back to Washington or go back to their communities and let people know where they stand and let people know who you are — what you believe — and feel comfortable in that.”