We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
They have wanted all of Europe for as long at they knew it was there. A Muslim army crossed the Pyrenees in 721 and wasn't stopped until the Battle of Tours in North Central France in 732. The Ottomans campaigned as far North as Poland and twice besieged Vienna.
Yes, the evill oppressive Crusades were the 50 years out of 1000 that Western Europe played offense instead of defense.
As for cold and north, my fourth son lives in Tromso, which is about as far north as you can get. The Norwegians do look down on the migrants coming in, but hell, they aren't all that fond of Swedes, either. And yet they come, and are difficult to convince to leave, even when it is 24-hour dark and bitter cold.