Looking to Lady Liberty: Yale Law School's George Washington Expert Logan Beirne
“The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined . . . . At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.”
– George Washington, 1783
Inspired by Washington’s words, Yale Law School Professor Logan Beirne wrote the bestselling book Blood of the Tyrants, which examines how America’s Founders continue to shape our government today.
Professor Beirne is a Lecturer in Law and Faculty Research Fellow at Yale Law School, an award winning, bestselling author, and a public speaker in high demand. His background in law and history allows him to uniquely discuss current political trends within the context of America’s past.
In an era of political fragmentation and social unrest, Rebellion Research sat down with Prof. Beirne to hear his perspective on today’s fractious politics and our upcoming election.
“Our history is not just fascinating, it has legal teeth that affect the meaning of our constitution today,” Logan explains, “When it comes to the powers of the presidency or rights of citizens, courts look to our founding era for guidance.” Unsurprisingly, Prof. Beirne is continuously invited by top universities and organizations across the United States to speak on history and modern politics.
Logan’s connection to the Founders goes beyond scholarship: it’s personal. He is descended from the “Father of Our Constitution,” President James Madison. That familial connection meant that from an early age, his parents instilled in him a deep respect for the nation’s founding ideals and a belief that those ideals are crucial for today.
As examples, dangers of bitter partisanship, foreign intervention, electoral crises, and the spread of misinformation are far from novel phenomena. In the election of 1800, for example, President John Adams faced a fierce challenge from Thomas Jefferson.
If you think today’s politics are bad, Adams’s supporters claimed that if Jefferson won “murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will openly be taught and practiced,” and when that message wasn’t resonating, they spread rumors that Jefferson had died.
The era saw it all: Adams accused foreign agents of interfering in our democracy, Jefferson sought to manipulate the electoral college in his favor, and the constitution was almost torn apart as the House of Representatives intervened to select the President.
Despite these crises, the United States has sustained its core democratic tenets by expunging foreign actors from domestic politics and by championing a fair and just voting system—the keystone of a liberty.
Dr. Beirne believes that the people—who hold the real power—should derive confidence from their nation’s past, since “we can learn from our history as we continue to build toward a better future.”
After he won the election of 1800, Jefferson wrote, “The storm is over, and we are in port.” There were many storms yet to overcome – and the American people were up to the challenge.
Written by Pavan Nagaraj
Edited by Alexander Fleiss