Turntable Tonearm Lift Issue

Here's a weird problem: The tonearm lift on my turntable (almost new) doesn't lower the arm perfectly vertical. It always lowers the tonearm to the outside (left), making it very hard to line things up when spinning a record. Help!!
It sounds as if you have the anti-skating set high enough that it is causing the arm to slide on the arm lift as it is lowered. On many turntables, setting the anti-skating as specified in the manual is too much.

I am currently using an MMF 2.2 turntable, which has essentially a fixed anti-skate weight. Perhaps, I can reduce it somehow?

Yeah tonearms which slide off to the side can be a PITA.
Best is to just learn how to precompensate.
PRACTICE with starting a bit over too far, and learn what it takes to land just right.
If it is consistent, then you are gonna be fine.
If the anti skate is so strong that it can actually pull the tone arm well resting on the lift mechanism. Then I would think that you must be experiencing some tracking issues while playing lp's as well. You may want to have a visit with your dealer before you do anything.