Over this weekend, before Election Day, I have received several calls and emails from friends and colleagues.
Some support Trump, others support Clinton. Each used the word "fear" or "worried" in their message.
I tried to calm them by reminding them that those who wrote the U.S. Constitution baked in a healthy dose of counterbalance to alleviate their fear of despots.
Then, it was King George III of England -- a stubborn, self-absorbed monarch who didn't simply reject America's demand for independence; he wanted to punish the colonies with a prolonged war to break the will of the new country.
The drafters of the Constitution didn't just have King George III in mind. They also addressed the flaws and dangers of all men and women who assume power.
"Ambition must be made to counteract ambition," wrote Benjamin Franklin.
In their wisdom, they anticipated a President Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump.
So let's look at the primal fears of the supporters of each candidate in light of the balance of power created by the Constitution.
First those who fear a President Donald Trump. If he wants to propose new treaties or terminate existing treaties, he will need the advice and consent of two-thirds vote of the Senate. This applies to trade and security treaties, including the Brussels Treaty of 1948, which was the first step in the creation of NATO. If he wants to change refugee immigration quotas, it will require consultation with Congress. If he wants to build the Southern border wall, it will require appropriations and the approval of both the House and Senate. And, if Mexico refuses to pay for the wall, there will be no wall.
For those who fear a President Hillary Clinton. Fear of her Supreme Court appointees is at the top of their list. She will need a majority vote of the Senate to confirm a nominee. However, a successful filibuster threat can add the requirement of a supermajority of 60 needed in favor of cloture, which would allow debate to end and force a final vote on confirmation. If she wants to replace Obamacare with a single-payer system she will need the approval of both houses of Congress -- Republicans will likely maintain control of the House of Representatives. If she proposes severe restrictions on the purchase of arms and ammunition, she will face challenges from both Congress and the Supreme Court.
These are examples of how the rhetoric of each candidate will be tempered by the balance of power in Washington.
To my friends, be assured the country will survive. Once the votes are counted - and that may be a prolonged event -- Clinton and Trump supporters must decompress and refocus.
The country has more to fear than the despotic proclivities of each candidate.
There will be no tyrant in the White House. But there are tyrants outside the borders of our country -- violent, ambitious, and powerful.
Collectively, the president, the House and the Senate, and most importantly, the American people will successfully face these tyrants and their threats as they have for 240 years, starting with the stubborn King George III of England.