BRUNSWICK — Reviled by many Britons, including those who voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit campaign that he helped spearhead when he was head of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage has expressed interest in moving to Maine.

Farage cites the animosity he has encountered in Britain and his fears for his family’s safety as motivating his desire to emigrate to the United States. He fails to mention that even his erstwhile supporters became angered when, shortly after urging Britons to vote to leave the U.K., Farage resigned as the UK Independence Party’s leader in a classic political cut and run.

Farage then found renewed purpose in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and hit the trail with him, apparently preferring the fray of battle to the hard work of building something anew in his own country. As a reward for Farage’s loyalty, after his election Trump tweeted that Farage would make a great British ambassador to the U.S., ruffling feathers in Britain for the suggestion’s lack of diplomacy.

In recent weeks, Farage could be found meddling (unsuccessfully) in Austria’s elections. In an interview with the Fox Business Network on Dec. 2, Farage exulted, “The European Union is dying before your very eyes.”

According to a recent report in the Portland Press Herald (“Brexit leader eyes Maine coast in planned departure from United Kingdom,” Nov. 25), Farage’s interest in moving to Maine has been welcomed by Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party. Savage went as far as to say, “We’d love to have (him) here and we’d welcome the opportunity to talk.”

In Farage’s universe, though, “talk” is usually one-way in the form of shouting or grandstanding. While some of Maine’s political class may rejoice in the prospect of (another) bombastic and impolitic politician – one who would, no doubt, feel at home at Blaine House – everyday citizens should do their best to make Farage feel unwelcome.

Why should we roll out the welcome mat for a man who sowed divisions in his own country, helped destabilize Europe and then shrugged his shoulders and decided to move on to greener pastures? We’ve got plenty of homegrown political cowards and cheats without having to import one from across the pond.

One wonders, too, what particular appeal (apart from its natural beauty) Maine holds for Farage. Perhaps it’s as simple as the promise of a “new” England in which Farage can reinvent himself.

Or maybe Farage is attracted by Maine’s demographics and nurtures a fantasy of homogeneity and whiteness, one that underwrote his Brexit messaging and led him to exploit the European refugee crisis for political gain.

Or perhaps he’s drawn to a state with a governor who tilts at windmills, given that one of Farage’s first meetings with Trump after the U.S. election involved a discussion in which the president-elect urged Farage and his associates to oppose a proposed wind farm that would affect the view at Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Or maybe he just thinks we’re simple rubes who won’t know enough about his brand of lies and sleaze to call him out on it. Whatever the reason, we should not normalize such behavior by making Farage feel comfortable here.

Should Farage decide to move to Maine, we should hold accountable any of our politicians who welcome him. After vicious campaigns in the United Kingdom and the United States focused on curbing immigration and hardening borders, Farage’s presumption that he can easily move to the United States also should be questioned and challenged.

And should we encounter him at a lobster wharf or a book shop or a grocery store, we should treat him the way fellow opera goers treated the Glenn Close character the Marquise de Merteuil in the film “Dangerous Liaisons.”

After the marquise’s treachery and deceit are revealed, she is shunned and ostracized by her peers. As the film closes, the marquise is perched in front of a mirror. Removing her makeup, she confronts the ugly and empty self hidden behind her mask. If Farage does decide to relocate to Maine, let us serve as the mirror that unmasks the ugly brand of politics he has espoused.

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