The Willard

Published November 3, 2022

By Lib Campbell

In DC last weekend, we rode the Hop-on Hop-off bus. We love Hop-on bus tours and have done them in every major city we have visited. An overview is a good thing. So, in DC we were approaching the White House stop and saw the Willard Hotel. We hopped off.

The Willard is a grand hotel like the Plaza in New York or the Grosvenor in London. Beautiful. Strategic. Walking into the café I felt like I was walking into the Watergate. Stuff went on here and I felt it.

After the 2020 election, when all the disinformation started, it was revealed that a meeting was held at the Willard. The likes of Stone, Bannon, Miller, McCarthy and Eastman were there. We don’t know for sure who was coming and going. Maybe even Sidney Powell. (Y’all know she is from Raleigh, don’t you?) Who knows the rogues present in this gallery, there to plot the overthrow of our democracy?

What I do know is that there is a movement in our state and in our country that threatens the very Republic and Democracy that we all trust will bring forth justice and fairness for all. Democracy provides a chance for every human being, regardless of color, sexual orientation, immigration status and all the other ways we set aside and dismiss people who just want to live in peace and thrive. These political games must end. We must consider what we are doing to each other and to the very fabric of what is America and North Carolina.

We are strident in our beliefs. We believe all people are equal under the law. We believe all people need a voice. We believe all people need to feel safe. We all need to have food and clean water and lights that come on when we flip the switch. We all need leaders who inspire us to better and higher goals and values and life abundant.

North Carolina will elect new leaders Tuesday. We will be watching how the vote comes in. Anger, revenge, conspiracy and negative advertising will come into play. Clandestine meetings happen when people with nefarious intent seek power to manipulate how government operates. Proximity to power is an aphrodisiac. Some people are so power hungry they will burn down the kingdom for a little bit of fame. Pity. That is the stuff of story, archetype and myth.

As we in North Carolina enter election week, let us thoughtfully and, I would say prayerfully, consider the differences of character, record, and voice in those for whom we vote. There are a lot of election deniers, maga lovers, and just plain despicable people running for office. There is a lot more at stake than most voters know. Our democracy is in the balance.

The French Onion Soup at the Willard was delicious. So was the club sandwich. Wait service was great. A wonderful American experience. Whatever goes on in the smoke filled, booze-soaked rooms where the anti-government people gather and conspire, hear this. We are watching. Some of us are yet to vote. All of us will ultimately see who you are and where you are leading us. God help us.

Lib Campbell is a retired Methodist Pastor, retreat leader and columnist who blogs at You may contact her at