This is the most difficult and wrenching column I have ever written. It concerns our Presidential election in November and the distressing knowledge that, regardless of outcome, America will lose.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is recognized worldwide as a blatant liar on any topic. She is held in lower regard by the public than any Presidential candidate in U.S. history on “truthfulness,” and her record shows it, despite polls by political supporters and media to obscure or distort the facts. Furthermore, she is a socialist in every venue where she has articulated a position, but nobody calls her what she is. She is supported by a corrupt political establishment and broken more laws than can be counted. She never held a “proper job” and has no clue about the operations of the real world and private sector.

Republican candidate Donald Trump has a mental imbalance summarized as “narcissistic,” much like President Obama. On July 26, 2016, Tony Schwartz, a ghostwriter of Trump’s memoir Art of the Deal, described his efforts and what he learned about the real Trump personality. The bottom line is that Trump has an insatiable hunger for money, praise and celebrity. He is also a strategic liar like Clinton.

Do you honestly think that a stated opinion or policy position from either candidate has any meaning or value? But here, anyway, are some stated views by each candidate on a variety of matters, abstracted from late July comments in BallotPedia, PolitiFacts and Inc. Magazine. Do these views (see Table) have any credibility?

The route toward sanity in federal government lies on the shoulders of voters who understand how government works. Let’s be blunt: Whichever Presidential candidate is elected, our government structure relies on Congress to provide the definitions, limitations and means on how policies are or are not implemented. What this says is that America can have an incompetent ideologue in the Executive branch (as we have today in the White House) and survive if the House and Senate do their jobs.

For the past too many years, Congress has failed miserably in its role of protector of citizens and freedoms. The House of Representatives is SOLELY responsible for initiating all appropriation bills (spending tax money). A spending bill initiated by the House could say, “No money may be spent for XYZ.” If that happens, when passed as part of the spending bill, nothing is approved. Willingness by Congress to “do it right” is a concept that must apply even if it means government stagnation. Furthermore, it is essential that Congress prevent flagrant abuses of (unconstitutional) Presidential actions that currently persist. Since Congress and recent predecessor assemblies have failed to “do it right,” American citizens and industrial futures are essentially unaffected by the outcome of the November election.

This is the American problem. It is enormously more important to have a responsible House and Senate than it is to have a competent Executive. America has had a degenerating situation with a corrupt Congress not acting in national interest during recent years. We cannot continue down the current path, or our country will move further toward oblivion.

Do your job. Study the candidates, focusing on the federal House and Senate races, and do more than cross your fingers. Our national future is at stake and in your voting hands.