When I visit neighbors going door to door, I actually have a sheet that tells me who the registered voters are and whether they’re Republicans or Democrats. But I’ve learned I can guess with pretty solid accuracy without even looking at the sheet.

If I see a nice, sharp-looking metal Texas star mounted near the door, inscribed in a circle, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts those folks are Republican. That star speaks of pride in their membership in this community, of respect for principles, of a spirit of independence and self-reliance.

If I see wind chimes, there’s every chance the folks inside are Democrats. Those wind chimes seem to express a desire for connection with nature, an openness to experiencing a little tinkly beauty even in a moment that goes unnoticed, and a gesture toward sharing it.

Can’t we all connect with some of those values? Isn’t there some basis for coming together around pride in community, self-reliance, and adherence to principle but also shared purpose, respect for nature and sustainability, and a little music?

Notes: City Council races are by law non-partisan, so I have nothing by my door. Also I did come upon one house that had both a Texas star and wind chimes. Checked the sheet. They were Independents.