In the current political climate, it can be all too easy to lose faith in politicians’ ability to reach across the aisle — especially when they’re running for the same seat in the upcoming midterm elections. But two candidates in Vermont recently proved that it’s possible for Democrats and Republicans to come together, and they did it all through music.
Lucy Rogers and Zac Mayo, who are running for a seat in Vermont’s House of Representatives, ended a recent debate at the local library in Jeffersonville by performing a duet. Mayo strummed his guitar, while Rogers played the cello. The song they chose was an appropriate one — “Society,” written by Jerry Hannan and sung by Eddie Vedder.
“It’s a mystery to me / We have a greed / With which we have agreed,” the lyrics go. “You think you have to want / More than you need / Until you have it all you won’t be free.”
According NPR, Democrat Rogers emailed Republican Mayo about the idea two days before the debate, and they met up the day before to rehearse. “It was less Zac and I trying to make a huge statement than just working on the local level,” Rogers said.
“I have watched politics become riddled with insults and anger because of our partisan ideology,” Mayo shared on his website. “This is a government failure but it doesn’t have to be our failure.”
Vermont paper Seven Days reports that the candidates, who were both born and raised in Vermont, first realized they shared a love of music at a Fourth of July parade earlier this year. “It seemed like a fun thing to do to lighten the tone of the debate,” Rogers shared. “Music has always been an important part of my life, a way to bring people together.”
Those present for the debate gave the candidates a standing ovation when their duet finished. According to CBS News, one person said it “marked a turning point for us,” while another said it gave them “a lot of hope.” Some houses even reportedly had signs for both candidates on their lawns, which is a heartening sight in today’s society.