Have you ever tried discussing a politically-sensitive issue with someone who disagrees? It can be tough, especially if the other guy’s views are anchored in place with popular perception and so-called common knowledge.
Even when you do make a solid point, you still might hear the response — “well, that’s only because…” followed by an escape hatch that allows him to entirely dismiss your point. Stalemate. Right back to square one, and once again, emotion trumps logic.
One way to get around this (his raw stubbornness notwithstanding) might be to look at a historical example. Because an unfamiliar example, or one removed to a safe historical distance, can be examined without the conversation being distorted. You avoid allegiances to “My team” and antipathy to “their team”.
As one example, we can look to Eighth Century Hispania to explain our views on today’s politics? Sure! Why 8th Century? Because in this historical incident there are enough parallels that we can draw lessons, but enough differences that the other guy will not immediately know which side to cheer for. He might even hear what you are saying.
Back then, Western Rome had long since collapsed, and the former empire shattered into contested fragments. One corner of the former empire, then called Hispania, had a leadership problem.
The region was ruled by the Visigoths under Roderic. The country was by no means homogenous, nor altogether happy with Roderic’s rule, nor were the Visigoths even the majority group, although they held more power than their rivals. At some point, (explanations differ) someone challenging Roderic for the throne sought foreign help in the overthrow.
They looked across the Mediterranean, and found Tariq ibn Ziyad. He filled his ships with able men, and sailed North. This is where things started to go sideways for the Spanish rebels. The troops coming to help them overthrow Roderic was supposed to place another Spaniard in the throne.
But history tells another story. (In greater detail here.) When they landed, Tariq ibn Ziyad is said to have torched his ships, so that there was no retreat. Whether or not he did is disputed, but the speech he is said to have given amounts to the same thing. It included the following paragraph:
“Remember that if you suffer a few moments in patience, you will afterward enjoy supreme delight. Do not imagine that your fate can be separated from mine, and rest assured that if you fall, I shall perish with you, or avenge you. You have heard that in this country there are a large number of ravishingly beautiful Greek maidens, their graceful forms are draped in sumptuous gowns on which gleam pearls, coral, and purest gold, and they live in the palaces of royal kings. The Commander of True Believers, Alwalid, son of Abdalmelik, has chosen you for this attack from among all his Arab warriors; and he promises that you shall become his comrades and shall hold the rank of kings in this country. Such is his confidence in your intrepidity. The one fruit which he desires to obtain from your bravery is that the word of God shall be exalted in this country, and that the true religion shall be established here. The spoils will belong to yourselves.”
In this passage (and those surrounding it) are the typical appeals to bravery and valour one might expect from a military leader, but with a distinctive Islamic flavor.
Note the references to women, to rank, to spoil, and the reference to the spread of Islam. “That the word of God shall be exalted in this country and that the true religion shall be established there.”
These quotes were not lifted from biased Western sources, but from “The Muslim Times”
I promised to connect this to current events, and so I shall. In Hispania, in the year 711, someone thought it would be a good idea to invite a foreign force in to accomplish private political goals. It was assumed that this foreign group would play nice and, after overthrowing the establishment, quietly hand power to those who invited them. It backfired.
Imagine their horror when they discovered — too late — that Tariq ibn Ziyad did not arrive as a hired mercenary, but as a conqueror. The power they craved never arrived. Instead, they traded one master for another. Their new rulers were not united by race (the invaders had Arabic leadership, but were mainly Berbers), so much as religion. They were zealous for Islam.
In fairly short order, most of the Iberian Peninsula had been conquered. The Muslims proceeded, advancing through Europe, until Charles Martel, in 732, won the decisive Battle of Tours in Northern France.
Here is where we split off into some facts relevant for today.
-The rebel Spaniards invited an army into their homeland, foolishly thinking they could control it.
-Tariq ibn Ziyad’s invasion happens when Islam is only 92 years old.
By then, Islam had already put North Africa to the sword.
-Tariq’s invasion, and the Battle of Tours, are both 300+ years earlier than the first Christian Crusade.
– Since America won’t exist for another Thousand Years, nothing here is “America’s fault”.
– Tariq thought he was serving his religion faithfully by using the sword to subjugate infidels, capture their wealth, and claim their women.
There is precedent for mistrusting large groups of population arriving from foreign shores, with values nothing like our own, intending to stay indefinitely. Just ask Charles Martel.
There is precedent for thinking that amnesty, sanctuary cities, and unrestricted illegal crossings into the United States should be considered a threat to the national security and long-term well-being of the nation.
Just because one political party assumes they will personally benefit from amnesty, (much like those who invited Tariq ibn Ziyad had), does not mean their plan has no risks. Sometimes, those risks are not discovered until it is too late.
Such may already be Europe’s fate. Let us hope it is not America’s fate, also.