I take my next-door neighbor's political temperature by perusing his bumper stickers. During the reign of Bush II, Rob's work van sported this exhortation: "Visualize No Liberals." I didn't take it literally. I even managed a smile. It was pithy and rather witty.
I knew Rob didn't want me gone, just like I didn't believe what I heard in Catholic school: that all Protestants were going straight to hell. My mother was an eminently lax Episcopalian.
No, it would take more than a bumper sticker to drive a wedge between Rob and me, not to mention his wife, Helen.
For years, Rob hayed my field and stored the bales in my barn before selling them. We've cut firewood together, drunk beers together on our decks, swapped organic vegetables and fresh eggs. I feed his cows on occasion, and a time or two I helped corral them when they got out. When an intruder spent the night in our house while my wife and I were away, Rob collared the guy. Now that's a good neighbor.
Besides, I like bumper stickers. One of my all-time favorites was on the rusty old pickup driven by a guy who helped build our house: "I Brake for Hallucinations." Nobody tailgated John for long.