Nasty 2018 election is finally over

‘Politician” was never high on the list of most trusted professions, with deceit almost a requirement for the job. But the lying, dirty tricks and scare tactics over the past few months have been so extreme it might have been amusing if it wasn’t so horrifying.

Of course, President Fearmonger launched the festivities with his caravan-go-wild shtick. Pulling a perverse Paul Revere routine, Donald Trump cried, the invaders are coming! Thousands of angry immigrants from Central America, including gang members and “Middle Easterners!” They’re coming for us, and have cunningly timed it around Election Day!

Actually, this desperate group of asylum-seekers won’t arrive until the end of November, if any of them actually get here. Thousands have dropped out.

“There is no invasion,” said Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who eats alone in the Fox cafeteria. “No one is coming to get you.” Trump’s “invasion” scare coming right before the midterm election is “what all this is really about,” Smith noted.

When pressed by CNN’s Jim Acosta for proof that the exhausted group of refugees includes “unknown Middle Easterners,” Trump shrugged, “There’s no proof of anything, but there could well be.”

Excuse me? Was that his thought process when Trump called Andrew Gillum, Florida’s African-American Democratic candidate for governor “a thief”? No proof, but it “could well be”? Sounds a lot like his claim in 2016 that “Lyin’ Ted” (sorry, “Beautiful Ted”) Cruz’s dad may have been involved in killing President John F. Kennedy. Does Trump regret smearing Cruz’s father as an assassin?

“I don’t regret anything,” Trump told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “It all worked out very nicely.” Really? Not for Cruz’s dad!

But the president’s not the only one who seems to have been absent the day consciences were distributed. Two years ago, Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Long Island Republican, sent out a campaign mailer with the wrong deadline for voters to return absentee ballots. His campaign swore it was a mistake. Cut to 2018. Guess what Zeldin’s campaign did again? Yep, sent out the wrong deadline (an error by the printer, the campaign said), targeting likely Democratic voters in his district. Fool me once, get my vote. Fool me twice, get my foot?

Let’s hope the dirty tricks fail, for all of our sakes.

Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.