Avenatti, 'collusion,' Smollett -- It's time for the left to learn about skepticism

Occam’s razor is a problem-solving principle which in essence says a simple solution is more likely to be correct than a complex one.

When the wild story of Jussie Smollett, the actor who has now been charged with faking his own hate crime, first broke, my Twitter feed was in an uproar. It was filled with mostly liberal-leaning celebrities, journalists and everyday Americans lamenting the outrage of a phantom Trump-supporting hate monger and how his attack (now charged to be a lie) supposedly proved that those right of center were bad.

I said nothing in public, even as Smollett appeared with tears in his eyes on TV, lying while he disparaged Trump supporters. Not just because I lived in that very neighborhood of the alleged attack and knew of its improbability, but even without that direct knowledge, the story was so complex, convoluted and outrageous that, back to Occam’s basic problem solving, it wasn’t likely to be true.

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By waiting a short time, that principle was proven correct with Mr. Smollett himself being charged by a grand jury with 16 felony counts for making up and reporting the damaging hate crime story.

Now, I also am a skeptic by nature. So, usually when an outrageous claim like the president colluding with a foreign country is made, I am highly skeptical. But, even if skepticism hasn’t been someone’s life-long practice, you would think the lesson of why it is valuable would be obvious by now.

Whether it was the incredibly painful and inappropriate Kavanaugh hearings that brought no corroboration of the accusations made against the now Supreme Court Justice, to the smear of Nick Sandmann and the Covington high school kids, it is clear that those who want to push a narrative and run with emotion over facts almost always get things wrong.

Now, we are left with an approximately 22-month, $25+ million investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller finding no collusion between the president and Russia, which was the obvious outcome for those not inflicted with “TDS” (Trump Derangement Syndrome). But, you don’t have to like the president to be able to be skeptical or to purely reserve judgment until facts are out.

Moreover, as Michael Avenatti is being charged for attempted extortion, bank fraud and wire fraud, I also don’t find myself surprised.

His history of shady business dealings are searchable -- although not widely featured -- in the media and his continually outrageous claims and bullying approach read to me as someone who wasn’t exactly a stand-up guy. However, many of the same people who pushed the narratives around Smollett and the fake Russian collusion story are also backtracking and spinning their previous fawning over Avenatti, who was a frequent guest on several networks and was even invited by the AP to be their guest at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last year, earning him so much attention that he briefly teased a 2020 presidential run.

So, for those who have bought into the cult-like narrative that everything that the president does is bad, everyone that supports him is bad and everyone that doesn’t support him is good, today is your day of reckoning.

Get out of your echo chamber, do some self-reflection and re-think your past actions and your go-forward strategy.

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The country has been damaged not only by a wasteful witch hunt, but by two-plus years of those who refused to use some basic skepticism and restraint, which has further divided the country.

Patience is a virtue; hopefully, if anything good can come out of this crescendo of false narratives is that the left can use better and more reasoned judgment when evaluating accusations and incomplete information in the future.