Whether you are a Republican, an independent, or a moderate Democrat, you should vote on Nov. 8 for a GOP Congress, in the interest not of party but of your country. This does not depend on whether it is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump who is sworn in as president on Jan. 20; only Republicans in control of Capitol Hill can make sure that the extremism of an overreaching new chief executive is held in check.

Here is why.

There are four plausible outcomes on Election Day. The first is that Clinton will win the presidency and Democrats will also take the House and Senate. The second and third possibilities are that she will win the White House but congressional Democrats will take only the Senate or neither chamber.

It seems highly probable that one of these three outcomes, with Clinton winning, is what we will get, for Trump is already wasting time pointing fingers of blame for losing rather than using every second to try and win. But the last possibility, dwindling fast, is that he will win and both chambers stay Republican.

The one thing that seems certain not to happen is that Trump wins the presidency while Democrats take either one or both chambers of Congress. So there’s no reason to vote for Democratic majorities if your aim is to keep a President Trump in check.

If Democrats re-take Capitol Hill, Clinton will be in the White House. Democratic lawmakers would then spur her into uncharted left-wing territory — note Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s demand last week to politicize the Securities and Exchange Commission — rather than try to hold her back and govern constitutionally. That would delight those who embrace Sen. Bernie Sanders’ and Sen. Warren’s extreme left-wing agenda, but it would dismay the majority of the country.

The key fact is that both presidential candidates are excoriating congressional Republicans because they recognize them as the principal group that would resist their grand plans for the country. Both presidential wannabes know that GOP lawmakers disagree with their policies and would work to thwart them. Isn’t that exactly what America needs right now? A balance in Washington that would restrain either of the two most unpopular presidential candidates in history with a short leash?

After the miserable, divisive and turbulent years of the Obama presidency, in which the economy has sluggishly inched its way back to pre-recession levels, millions have given up on their job search. Washington has been treating business as the people’s enemy. Cities have boiled over into racial violence. America has squandered respect around the world. It is essential that we avoid more of the same.

A period of normalcy, stability and repair is greatly to be desired. Dividing the government and pitting Congress against the president would, of course, mean continued fights, but it would also, as the nation’s founders intended, prevent lurching extremism.

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The only body that can undertake that important task is Congress. And the only way it will choose to do so is if Republicans are in charge.

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