While all of the national focus is squarely on Election Day, Nov. 6, the important day is Nov. 7.
That day we'll know more clearly how our personal lives will be affected and how the future will likely unfold for our children and grandchildren.
So let's look beyond Election Day and peek into the future.
If President Obama is re-elected, the path ahead is filled with an array of costly spending.
The sad truth is he seems hellbent on testing the theory that you can spend your way out of debt.
Tax reform is a virtual certainty. But the Obama definition of tax reform is higher taxes on the prime producers and the long-mentioned "distribution of wealth" toward the nonproducers.
Under a second Obama administration, it's likely we'd see more stimulus packages and bailouts to the lagging economy.
That means more debt bankrolled by China.
Because of overregulation, business will continue to struggle and our ability to address that mounting debt will be diminished.
With the election now behind us, we'd finally discover the full impact of Obamacare.
We'd siphon $750 billion from Medicare and add untold millions to a national health plan. And we'd likely boost health care enrollment by millions with less medical providers.
If Congressional power is divided -- as seems likely -- we'd be governed by executive order.
The balance of power and the checks and balances that have governed this nation since the beginning will slowly fade into history.
But all of this out-of-control federalization will pale in comparison to the massive polarization of the American public.
There are those on both sides of this divide who cannot imagine an election outcome that runs counter to theirs.
And that is a danger.
The extreme elements of both parties have grown substantially in the past four years.
These extremists -- who will reject in some fashion an outcome other than theirs -- have grown both in number and strength.
But the extremists are no longer wild-eyed radicals with strong ideological differences.
Extremists on the right are those who fear their life's efforts are being stolen to hand to those who have never tasted success.
Extremists on the left are those who see the opportunity for government to provide that which they have failed to provide.
Redistribution for them is not a slogan -- it's a promise.
By these definitions, most of us could be classified as extremists.
That's what makes this election both critical and frightening.