How an NPR Journalist Woke up in a Trump Hotel in Vegas

In the heart of Las Vegas, amidst the kaleidoscopic frenzy of the Strip, lies a bastion of opulence that beckons travelers from all corners of the globe – Trump International Hotel. As a liberal author with deeply ingrained convictions about the nature of conservatism and Republicans, my decision to stay at this iconic establishment was driven by a desire to confront my own biases and challenge the divisive narratives that have come to define our political discourse. Little did I know that what awaited me over the next two nights within the walls of this luxurious enclave would be a journey of self-discovery and revelation that would forever alter my perspective.

My arrival at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas was met with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity. As the Uber driver dropped me off in front of the imposing structure, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of apprehension gnawing at the edges of my consciousness. The neon lights of the Strip cast an otherworldly glow upon the facade, a stark reminder of the contradictions that awaited me within.

Initial Encounters

Standing there, gazing up at the towering edifice, I felt a myriad of emotions swirling within me. There was a palpable sense of unease, a recognition of the ideological chasm that separated me from the ostentatious symbol of the Trump brand. Yet, amidst the apprehension, there was also a flicker of curiosity – a desire to challenge my preconceptions and explore the depths of human connection that transcended political boundaries.

However, as I looked up at the Trump name emblazoned upon the building, a wave of conflicting emotions washed over me. Visions of CNN and MSNBC contributors flashed through my mind, their impassioned rhetoric stoking the flames of resentment and indignation that burned within my heart. It was a visceral reaction, one that left me physically pained and consumed by a sense of righteous rage.

But even amidst the turmoil, there was a glimmer of self-awareness – a recognition of the need to confront my own biases and transcend the divisive narratives that had come to define our political discourse. With a deep breath, I steeled myself for the journey ahead, determined to challenge my assumptions and embrace the complexities of human experience with an open heart and mind. However, on a lighter note, I took comfort in realizing that I wouldn’t need to concern myself with the discomfort of cigarette smoke triggering my allergies, given that the hotel prohibits smoking and lacks a casino.

Good Evening, Sir

As I approached the entrance, my gaze fell upon an African-American doorman standing at attention, a uniformed figure amidst the grandeur of the hotel facade. At that moment, a cynical thought crossed my mind – of course, Trump would place a black man outside his hotel, a token gesture of diversity, yet relegated to the lowest position, likely miserable and underpaid. It was a reflexive judgment, born from my preconceived notions about the man behind the uniform.

As I approached the entrance, a sense of reluctance washed over me, urging me to reconsider my decision.

Nevertheless, as I neared the door, the doorman greeted me with a genuine smile and a courteous, “Good evening, sir.” Regrettably, my immediate reaction was tinged with skepticism, my mind conjuring the notion of an “Uncle Tom” archetype, performing his role for a paycheck. Something felt off, discordant with the narrative I had constructed in my mind.

Check-In Experience

Stepping into the lobby, the opulence enveloped me, the polished marble floors and shimmering chandeliers a testament to the hotel’s grandeur. Despite the luxurious surroundings, I remained unsettled, my encounter with the doorman lingering in my thoughts. It was against this backdrop that I made the conscious decision to disclose my political leanings at the reception desk, bracing myself for what I believed would be a contentious encounter.

As I approached the reception desk, I braced myself for what was to come. The receptionist, a white woman, stood behind the desk with an air of professionalism, her demeanor betraying no hint of prejudice or bias. At that moment, her whiteness struck me, prompting a flurry of subconscious thoughts about privilege, systemic inequality, and the complexities of racial dynamics in America.

With polished marble floors, shimmering chandeliers, and opulent furnishings, the lobby exudes grandeur, welcoming guests with luxurious elegance.

“I just want to let you know,” I began tentatively, feeling a surge of apprehension, “that I’m a liberal and I voted for Joe Biden.” Then, with a sense of defiance tinged with anticipation, I added, “I also support trans men in women’s sports, drag queen story hour, and undocumented immigrants.”

The receptionist regarded me with a kind smile, her demeanor radiating warmth and hospitality. “Thank you for sharing, sir,” she replied, her tone imbued with genuine sincerity. “Rest assured, we value each of our guests equally and are dedicated to ensuring that your stay with us is nothing short of exceptional. We’re delighted to have you here and hope you have a wonderful experience.” It was an instance of unforeseen acceptance, serving as a poignant reminder that human connection surpasses the confines of political ideology. This moment paved the way for the transformative journey that awaited me.

Insights During Elevator Ride

I was pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the check-in process. The receptionist swiftly processed my reservation, her professionalism evident in every gesture. Moments later, a bellhop appeared at my side, ready to assist with my luggage. He was a young African-American man, his demeanor exuding confidence and poise. At that moment, I couldn’t help but make assumptions about his position within the hotel hierarchy, assuming he was another low-paid employee relegated to menial tasks.

As we rode the elevator together, he struck up a conversation with me. “How are we doing today, sir?” he asked politely, his words tinged with a hint of Southern charm. I was taken aback by his eloquence, momentarily forgetting my preconceived notions about his station in life. “Good,” I replied, before launching into my next question. “How long have you been working here?”

He smiled warmly, revealing a glimpse of the ambition that lay beneath his outward demeanor. “About three years,” he answered, his voice tinged with pride. “I only work on the weekends while I’m going to school at the University of Nevada to become an anesthesiologist. I graduate undergrad next year, and then I’m hoping to get into the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine.”

Overcoming Adversity

His response left me astonished, humbled by the realization that my assumptions had been sorely misguided. “Do you have relatives that work here?” I asked, curious to learn more about his connection to the hotel. He shook his head, giving me a puzzled look. “No,” he replied simply.

As we made our way to the room, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of admiration for this young man and his resilience in the face of adversity. “So, how do you manage work and studies?” I asked.

The hallways at Trump Vegas are adorned with sleek designs and elegant decor, creating an atmosphere of sophistication and luxury.

“My dad’s a doctor, so he’s big on hard work and I want to be like him, I admire him,” he replied. “Even though everything’s paid for, he says I still need to put in the effort. That’s why I work weekends here while in school.” “Sounds like quite a balancing act,” I remarked. “It is,” he admitted, “but it keeps me focused and disciplined.”

“Do you enjoy working here?” I asked, genuinely curious about his experience. He nodded enthusiastically, launching into a litany of reasons why he found fulfillment in his role. From the supportive management to the camaraderie among colleagues, he painted a picture of a workplace that defied my expectations. “I’ve made a lot of friends here and met a lot of wonderful guests, like yourself,” he said with a smile, his words resonating with a sincerity that left me humbled.

Entering the Room: A Moment of Reflection

As I settled into my room, I couldn’t help but marvel at the breathtaking view of the Strip that stretched out before me. From the plush bathrobes to the luxurious amenities, every detail seemed meticulously curated to ensure a truly indulgent experience.

As I marveled at the impeccable cleanliness of the room, a barrage of underlying thoughts threatened to disrupt my moment of tranquility. It was as if a relentless inner monologue had been activated, casting doubt upon the very essence of my surroundings.

The rooms at Trump Vegas are elegantly appointed with luxurious furnishings and offer breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip.

Amid this oasis of luxury, my thoughts turned to the man whose name adorned the hotel – Donald Trump. The image of the former president, with his bombastic rhetoric and polarizing policies, loomed large in my mind. He was, in my view, the epitome of a conman, a charlatan who had deceived the American people with promises of greatness.

This Can’t Be Happening

As I surveyed the pristine surroundings, a cynical voice whispered in my ear: “This is all a facade, a carefully constructed illusion designed to mask the true cost of Trump’s ambition.” I couldn’t help but wonder about the unseen labor behind the scenes – the housekeepers who toiled in anonymity to maintain the facade of perfection.

In my mind’s eye, they were predominantly African American, their labor exploited by a system that valued profit over humanity. Didn’t they know they were being conned?

And then there were the broader implications of Trump’s presidency – his ties to Russia, his attacks on democratic institutions, his disregard for the rule of law. It was a narrative of corruption and malfeasance, a threat to everything I held dear.

I had to apply Trump-branded products on my skin. Surprisingly, they had a pleasant scent.

At that moment, the luxury of my surroundings felt tainted by association. It was as if the very air I breathed was infused with the stench of hypocrisy and deceit. Donald Trump, the racist Russian spy, was a specter haunting the corridors of the hotel, a reminder of the dark forces that lurked beneath the surface of American society.

But even as these thoughts consumed me, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the absurdity of it all. Here I was, surrounded by opulence and luxury, yet unable to escape the grip of my ideological fervor. It was a humbling realization, a reminder that truth is often elusive and that our perceptions are shaped as much by our own biases as by objective reality.

Who’s Katie

Amidst the swirl of conflicted thoughts, my attention was drawn to a small note delicately placed by the television. It bore a simple yet profound message: “This room has been meticulously attended to by Katie.”

As I read the note bearing Katie’s name, a jarring realization dawned upon me. The name “Katie” did not fit the narrative I had constructed in my mind. It didn’t sound like a person of color. This wasn’t the typical African-American or Latina name, as I had subconsciously expected. At that moment, my brain struggled to reconcile this discrepancy, the cognitive dissonance causing a sharp pang of discomfort.

As the implications of this observation sunk in, I felt a profound sense of disorientation wash over me. It was as if the ground had shifted beneath my feet, leaving me adrift in a sea of uncertainty. The whirlwind of shock and enlightenment that had characterized my experience thus far seemed to coalesce into a single overwhelming sensation.

At that moment, I knew that I needed to retreat, to seek solace in the sanctuary of my room. My brain ached from the cognitive gymnastics it had been forced to perform, and I longed for nothing more than the simple comfort of lying down and letting the tumultuous tide of thoughts ebb away.

With a heavy heart and a weary mind, I made my way to the bed, sinking into its plush embrace with a sigh of relief. Closing my eyes, I allowed myself to drift into a state of blessed oblivion, hoping that a moment of rest would bring respite from the whirlwind of emotions that had engulfed me. In that quiet moment of surrender, I found a semblance of peace, a reprieve from the relentless march of introspection and revelation.

A Transformative Encounter at the Bar

Throughout my stay, I had the opportunity to engage with the hotel staff, each interaction leaving a lasting impression on me. From the cheerful greetings of the doorman to the attentive service of the housekeeping staff, I was continually humbled by the kindness and hospitality that permeated every aspect of the hotel. But it was a chance encounter at the bar later that evening that would prove to be the most enlightening.

The DJT Bar in Vegas exudes luxury with its upscale decor, premium drinks, and stunning views of the city skyline.

As I sat sipping my drink, I struck up a conversation with a fellow guest – a small businessman from the Midwest who had traveled to Las Vegas on business. Eager to understand his perspective, I broached the topic of politics and was surprised to learn that he was a fervent supporter of Donald Trump. Intrigued, I asked him to share his thoughts on the current state of affairs.

Should I Feel Sorry For a Trump Supporter?

What followed was a candid and eye-opening conversation that challenged many of my preconceived notions. He spoke passionately about the challenges facing small businesses in America, citing burdensome regulations and skyrocketing costs as major obstacles to success. He shared his struggles as a business owner, recounting the difficulties of navigating a complex bureaucratic landscape and the toll it had taken on his family, including his disabled child.

As I listened to his story, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of empathy and understanding. Here was a man who, like so many others, was simply trying to make a better life for himself and his loved ones. His support for Trump was not borne out of malice or ignorance, but rather a genuine belief that the former president’s policies would benefit hardworking Americans like himself. After all, he says, “Things were better under Trump and we weren’t sending billions of dollars overseas to promote war. God knows that money could be spent right here in the USA.”

It was a sobering realization, one that forced me to confront the limitations of my perspective. In my zeal to uphold my liberal ideals, I had unwittingly succumbed to the same narrow-mindedness that I so vehemently criticized in others. Perhaps the problem wasn’t Trump voters, but rather my inability to see beyond the confines of my ideology.

Interacting With Staff

As I engaged in conversation with various employees throughout the next day, I found myself compelled to inquire about their thoughts on Donald Trump, fully expecting a chorus of criticism. To my astonishment, each individual I spoke to offered unwavering praise for the former president.

When I probed further, asking why they admired Trump, the responses were remarkably consistent. “He’s trying to make America great again,” they would say, echoing the sentiments of his campaign slogan. Many pointed to concerns about the economy, lamenting what they perceived as the detrimental impact of Democratic policies under President Joe Biden. They voiced frustration over what they saw as a prioritization of “illegal” migrants over American citizens, highlighting their disillusionment with Democratic leadership.

My Conversation With Rosa

They voiced concerns about the state of the economy under President Joe Biden, lamenting the rising cost of living and the challenges facing working-class Americans. As I engaged in conversation with the hotel workers, their perspectives shed light on a range of societal issues, including the state of education in our country. One particular conversation with a housekeeper named Rosa resonated deeply with me.

As we discussed the state of the country, Maria expressed her concerns about rising crime rates and what she perceived as a two-tier justice system. She spoke passionately about the need for accountability and fairness, lamenting instances where certain individuals seemed to evade consequences for their actions.

“It’s not right,” she had said, her voice tinged with frustration. “People like Hunter Biden can get away with crimes, but Trump gets prosecuted for tearing off the tags on his pillows. It’s a double standard, and it’s not fair to hardworking Americans like us.”

Her words struck a chord with me, prompting a deeper reflection on the complexities of justice and equality in America. Moreover, her concerns about out-of-control crime and the implementation of cashless bail resonated deeply with me. The idea of releasing criminals without bail only exacerbated the problem, leading to a sense of unease and insecurity among law-abiding citizens.

Furthermore, Maria shared her frustration over the treatment of undocumented immigrants, highlighting what she saw as preferential treatment by the government. “It’s crazy,” she exclaimed. “They can cross the border illegally and get handed debit cards, while I just got a $150 parking ticket for being five minutes late.”

Her words painted a vivid picture of the disparities and injustices that pervaded society, leaving me with a sense of disquietude and a renewed determination to advocate for fairness and equality for all.

Broken Educational System

With a heavy heart, she lamented the prioritization of social justice and identity politics over core subjects like reading, writing, math, and science. She spoke of how her children struggled in school, their learning hindered by a curriculum that seemed more focused on ideology than academic rigor.

“It’s like they’re pushing these LGBT and gender studies programs on our kids, but they’re not learning the basics,” Maria confided, her voice tinged with frustration. “My son, he’s in high school now, but he can barely read or write. It breaks my heart to see him struggle like this.”

As Maria shared her story, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of empathy for her plight. There was a hardworking mother, doing everything in her power to provide a better life for her children, only to be thwarted by a broken educational system that failed to prioritize their needs.

As I listened to their stories, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of urgency. The challenges facing our educational system were complex and multifaceted, but they were not insurmountable. It was clear that we needed to do better. For the sake of our children and our future, we cannot afford to let our educational system continue to fail them.

Unveiling the Secrets of the Culinary World

As I wandered around the exterior of the building, my mind still swirling with the revelations of the past day, I found myself in an area that seemed to be designated for staff use only. It was there, on a secluded bench tucked away from the main thoroughfare, that I stumbled upon a line cook taking a moment to himself, enjoying the early evening air and a brief respite from the bustle of the kitchen.

“Do you work at Trump International Hotel?” I asked, my curiosity piqued by the sight of his uniform. The chef looked up, a faint smile playing at the corners of his lips. “Guilty as charged,” he replied, his voice tinged with amusement. “What can I do for you?”

“Do you like working here?” I inquired, hoping to steer the conversation in a direction that would shed light on the inner workings of the hotel. The chef’s demeanor shifted ever so slightly, a flicker of suspicion crossing his features. “Are you some kind of investigative journalist?” he countered, his tone laced with curiosity.

Should I Tell Him I Work for NPR?

I offered a sheepish smile, not entirely comfortable with the label but unwilling to divulge my true intentions. “Something like that,” I replied vaguely, hoping to maintain a semblance of anonymity.

The chef seemed to sense my reluctance to share more, his expression softening as he returned to his cigarette. “Well, to answer your question, it’s not bad,” he conceded, his voice tinged with resignation. “The pay’s decent, and the hours are manageable. But it’s not exactly the career I envisioned for myself.”

His words resonated with me, stirring a sense of empathy for this man who had found himself caught in the gears of an industry that demanded so much and many times offered so little in return. “I can imagine,” I murmured sympathetically, silently marveling at the complexities of his existence.

You Must Watch a Lot of News

As the conversation continued, the chef’s demeanor grew more animated, his frustration with the status quo bubbling to the surface. “You must watch a lot of news like CNN and MSNBC, being in the business of journalism,” he remarked, his tone tinged with skepticism.

I nodded in agreement, acknowledging the truth of his statement. “I do,” I admitted reluctantly, acutely aware of the irony of my situation. “But lately, I’ve been questioning everything I thought I knew.”

The chef regarded me with a knowing look as if he understood the inner turmoil that had brought me to this moment. “That’s a good start,” he said cryptically, his words laden with meaning. “But don’t believe everything you see or hear. Sometimes, the truth is closer than you think.”

His words struck a chord, echoing the doubts and uncertainties that had been gnawing at the edges of my consciousness. “But how do you know what to believe?” I pressed, my voice tinged with frustration. “How do you separate fact from fiction?”

The chef took a long drag from his cigarette, exhaling a plume of smoke into the crisp evening air. “It’s not about trusting any one source,” he explained, his tone measured and deliberate. “It’s about exposing yourself to a variety of perspectives, even ones that make you uncomfortable. That’s the only way to truly understand the world around you.”

Impartiality is a Myth

His words resonated with me, reminding me of the insular echo chambers that had come to dominate my worldview. “But what about the news?” I persisted, feeling a surge of unease at the mention of the very institution I had once held in such high regard. “Aren’t they supposed to be impartial?”

The chef chuckled softly as if he found my naivety endearing. “Impartiality is a myth, my friend,” he replied, his voice tinged with a hint of cynicism. “Every news outlet has its agenda, its own biases. The trick is learning to read between the lines, to discern the underlying truths that they don’t want you to see.”

His words hit me like a revelation, shattering the illusion of objectivity that I had once clung to so desperately. Suddenly, the world seemed a much more complex and nuanced place, a tapestry of competing narratives and hidden agendas.

Legacy Media

“But what about CNN, MSNBC, or NPR?” I blurted out, unable to contain my frustration any longer. “Aren’t they supposed to be the bastions of truth, the defenders of democracy?”

The chef’s expression softened as if he understood the source of my consternation. “They’re just as guilty as the rest,” he replied, his voice tinged with disappointment. “They may claim to be objective, but make no mistake – they have their own biases, their narratives to push. And all too often, those narratives come at the expense of the truth.”

As his words sank in, I felt a wave of disillusionment wash over me. It was a sobering realization, one that forced me to confront the uncomfortable truth that I had been living in a bubble of my own making. In my eagerness to condemn the “other side,” I had unwittingly become complicit in the very divisiveness that I claimed to abhor.

As the conversation delved deeper, the chef’s insights became increasingly profound, touching upon topics that seemed to stretch far beyond the confines of the hotel grounds. It was as if he possessed a keen awareness of the tangled web of deceit that enshrouded the world, and he was determined to unravel its mysteries one thread at a time.

Am I Living in the Matrix?

“It’s not just about the news,” the chef continued, his voice low and conspiratorial. “It’s about understanding the larger forces at play – the ones that shape our perceptions of reality without us even realizing it.”

I leaned in, captivated by his words, as he began to expound upon the intricacies of the COVID-19 pandemic – a crisis that had shaken the very foundations of society and laid bare the fragility of our collective illusions.

“You see, the pandemic was just the beginning,” he explained, his gaze piercing in its intensity. “It was a catalyst for change, a way to control the masses through fear and uncertainty. And while the virus itself may have been real, the narrative surrounding it was carefully crafted to serve a much darker purpose.”

His words sent a shiver down my spine, prompting me to question everything I thought I knew about the world around me. “But why?” I asked, my voice trembling with uncertainty. “Why would they do such a thing?”

The chef’s eyes darkened with a knowing glint as if he held the key to unlocking the deepest mysteries of the universe. “It’s all part of the matrix,” he replied cryptically. “A vast network of lies and half-truths designed to keep us complacent and docile, unaware of the true nature of our existence.”

I felt a chill run down my spine at the mention of the matrix, a concept that seemed to blur the lines between reality and fiction in ways I could scarcely comprehend. I took the bait. “But how do we break free?” I asked, my voice barely above a whisper.

Start by Doing This

The chef’s gaze hardened with resolve as he leaned in, his breath hot against my ear. “We start by questioning everything,” he whispered, his words echoing in the recesses of my mind. “We dig deeper, peel back the layers of deception until we uncover the truth that lies beneath.”

And then, as if sensing my growing unease, he changed tack, steering the conversation towards Operation Mockingbird – a clandestine CIA operation that had infiltrated the highest echelons of the media establishment. “Did you know that Anderson Cooper worked at the CIA?” he asked, his tone laced with incredulity.

I blinked in disbelief, struggling to reconcile the image of the affable news anchor with the sinister implications of his alleged ties to the intelligence community. “But how can we trust anything if even our most trusted sources are compromised?” I wondered aloud, my voice tinged with despair.

The chef regarded me with a sympathetic smile as if he understood the weight of the burden I now carried. “We can’t,” he replied simply. “That’s why we have to rely on ourselves – our instincts and intuition – to guide us through the darkness. It won’t be easy, and the road ahead may be fraught with peril. But if we stay true to ourselves, we can find our way out of the matrix and into the light.”

Trust Your Gut

As his words sank in, I felt a glimmer of hope stirring within me – a newfound sense of purpose that propelled me forward into the unknown. And though I knew that the journey ahead would be long and treacherous, I took comfort in the knowledge that I was no longer alone. Together, with the chef as my guide, I would navigate the murky waters of deception and deceit, seeking out the truth that had eluded me for so long.

His words hung in the air, casting a new light on the world around me. Suddenly, the hotel seemed less like a bastion of elitism and more like a microcosm of society itself, a melting pot of diversity and complexity.

New Beginnings

As I watched the chef disappear into the depths of the hotel, his words echoing in my mind, I felt a renewed sense of purpose stirring within me. It was a reminder that the truth was not always what it seemed, that reality was far more complex and nuanced than the tidy narratives peddled by the media.

And so, with a newfound sense of determination, I set out to explore the world beyond the confines of my own biases, to seek out the truth wherever it may lead me. It was a journey fraught with uncertainty and peril, but one that I knew I had to undertake if I ever hoped to truly understand the world around me.

Of course, The Trump Store is located in the hotel.

Overall, the perspectives of the people I spoke with challenged my deeply held beliefs and forced me to confront the limitations of my ideological framework. It was a stark reminder that political affiliations do not define the entirety of a person’s character or beliefs. Behind the uniform of a hotel employee lay individuals with their own unique experiences, perspectives, and struggles.

Take the Night Off

After immersing myself in the enlightening experiences at the Trump International Hotel for nearly 24 hours straight, I felt the need to clear my head and process the whirlwind of emotions that had consumed me. Stepping out onto the bustling streets of Las Vegas, I was greeted by a cacophony of sights and sounds that seemed to reverberate with the energy of the city. As I walked along the iconic Strip, I couldn’t help but marvel at the multifaceted spectrum of humanity that surrounded me – tourists from all walks of life, each with their own story to tell.

Came across this cute Trump teddy bear.

Just 24 hours earlier, I found myself categorizing people based on preconceived notions. However, thanks to my interactions with both staff and fellow guests, I’ve shifted my perspective to see individuals rather than stereotypes.

Yet, amidst the revelry and excitement, I found myself grappling with a sense of unease, a lingering feeling of disquiet that lingered in the recesses of my mind. The encounters at the hotel had left an indelible mark on my psyche, challenging the very foundation of my beliefs and forcing me to confront the limitations of my perspective.

I Need a Drink

Seeking solace from the chaos of the Strip, I decided to stop for a drink at the Chandelier Bar, nestled within the confines of the Cosmopolitan Resort. It was a deliberate choice, a departure from the elite establishments like Trump and Wynn that had come to symbolize the excesses of the city. Here, amidst the glittering lights and pulsating beats, I hoped to find a moment of respite from the relentless introspection that had consumed me.

The pool of Trump Hotel facing east towards the Strip.

As I settled into a seat at the bar, I found myself engaged in lively conversation with a fellow patron – a gentleman with purple hair and tattoos, his demeanor exuding an air of effortless coolness. We exchanged pleasantries and delved into topics ranging from politics to pop culture, finding common ground amidst the diversity of our perspectives.

Whoops!

As I reached into my pocket for my phone, my room key slipped out inadvertently, revealing the unmistakable “T” emblem of the Trump International Hotel, which gleamed softly in the dim light of the bar. At that moment, time seemed to stand still as the room fell silent, the weight of the symbol weighing heavily upon me.

To my horror, the man beside me recoiled in disgust, his expression contorted with anger and disdain. “I wouldn’t have guessed you were a fucking racist xenophobic Nazi,” he spat, his words laced with venom as he flung the ice from his drink onto me before storming off into the crowd.

I was stunned into silence, the sting of his accusation lingering long after he had disappeared into the throng of revelers. In his eyes, I was reduced to a caricature – a symbol of everything he despised, simply by my association with the hotel. It was a sobering reminder of the power of prejudice, the ease with which we can be blinded by our own biases and assumptions.

As I sat there, drenched in the icy remnants of his drink, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of profound sadness. Here was a man who had judged me based on nothing more than a symbol, unable to see beyond the surface of the complexities of me as an individual. It was a stark reminder of the dangers of tribalism, the insidious nature of us-versus-them thinking that pervades our society.

I Finally Woke Up

In the aftermath of the unsettling encounter at the Chandelier Bar, a profound sense of clarity washed over me like a wave crashing against the shore. It was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes, revealing the stark truth that had been obscured by the fog of my own biases and assumptions.

As I sat there, nursing my bruised ego, dampened spirits, and a wet shirt I couldn’t help but reflect on the events that had led me to this moment. The conversations with hotel staff, and the encounters with fellow guests – each had catalyzed a deeper understanding of the world around me. And yet, amidst the revelations and epiphanies, there was a nagging sense of disquiet – a realization that I had been living in the proverbial matrix, ensnared by a web of half-truths and distorted narratives.

Echo Chambers

For far too long, I had been content to regurgitate the talking points fed to me by the media, to accept the prevailing narrative without question or scrutiny. I had allowed myself to become a passive consumer of information, content to exist within the echo chambers of my own making.

But now, as I sat amidst the glittering lights of the Las Vegas Strip, I knew that I could no longer afford to be complacent. The events of the evening had shaken me to my core, forcing me to confront the uncomfortable reality that my worldview was not as solid as I had once believed.

It was a sobering realization, one that filled me with a sense of urgency and determination. If I were to break free from the confines of my ignorance, I needed to start questioning things for myself. I needed to challenge the narratives that had shaped my understanding of the world, seek out alternative perspectives, and embrace the complexity of human experience.

Final Reflections

And so, as I made my way back to the Trump International Hotel, I did so with a newfound sense of purpose. Gone was the certainty of my convictions, replaced instead by a willingness to embrace uncertainty and engage with the world with an open mind and heart.

Pro-America items in the Trump Store.

As I walked through the doors of the Trump International Hotel, a profound sense of safety and security washed over me like a comforting embrace. In stark contrast to the chaos and uncertainty that had characterized my evening on the Strip, I found myself enveloped in an atmosphere of tranquility and civility. Here, among the polished marble floors and elegant furnishings, I was surrounded by individuals who conducted themselves with grace and dignity – individuals who would never resort to such uncivilized behavior as dumping a drink on a stranger.

It was a striking realization, one that underscored the transformation that had taken place within me in just a single day. Gone was the disdain and disgust that had colored my perception of the hotel just twenty-four hours prior. In its place was a newfound appreciation for the humanity and kindness that permeated every aspect of the establishment.

As I made my way through the lobby, I couldn’t help but reflect on the journey that had brought me to this moment. It had been a journey marked by moments of discomfort and revelation, of confronting my own biases and assumptions head-on. And yet, amidst the turmoil, there had been moments of unexpected grace – moments that had challenged me to see the world through a different lens.

The Dawn of a New Day

Now, as I stood amidst the opulence of the Trump International Hotel, I realized that my perspective had shifted in ways I had never thought possible. What had once seemed like a symbol of everything I despised about the world had now become a beacon of hope and humanity – a reminder that, beneath the surface, we are all bound together by our shared humanity.

With each step I took, I felt a renewed sense of purpose and determination coursing through my veins. The neon lights of the Strip beckoned me forward, their ethereal glow casting a guiding light upon the path ahead. And though I knew that the road would not always be easy, I faced it with a newfound sense of courage and conviction, eager to continue my journey of self-discovery and enlightenment.

Tomorrow morning would mark the beginning of a new chapter—a chapter where I would navigate the world with eyes wide open, unencumbered by the shackles of prejudice and preconception.

Who would’ve thought that this awakening would unfold within the walls of a Trump hotel? Certainly not me. But as I lay there, in my plush bed, I realized that sometimes, enlightenment comes from the most unexpected of places. And so, with a sense of anticipation tinged with gratitude, I closed my eyes, ready to embrace the dawn of a new day—and a new way of seeing the world.


Disclaimer: This article is a work of fiction and does not reflect the actual experiences or actions of any NPR journalist. Any resemblance to real events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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One thought on “How an NPR Journalist Woke up in a Trump Hotel in Vegas
  1. While reading this story, I couldn’t help but think of Yeonmi Park who escaped from North Korea and realized the world was very different from what she had expected. The political dogma she had swallowed turned out not to be true.

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