Alrighty! I've got my gloves back on; let's get down to business.
I love it when people say to me, "Obviously you don't know" something, as though I make pernicious claims just for the fun of it. I know it is hard for you to believe, but many, many conservatives are extremely well educated in economics, history, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, science, etc. Unlike the millions of American students who are imprisoned within the public school system, over which the government holds a monopoly, I was introduced to great thinkers and philosophers, and of course, to an accurate historical record of the world. These introductions obviously occurred outside of my revisionist, narrow-minded public school curriculum. Through these independent studies, I was (and still am) able to learn and think about various issues within a historical context as well as a topical context. This is commonly referred to analysis. So let's be done with this aspect: I know stuff, ok?
However, much to your dismay, we again agree on something. I concur when you posit that communist societies possess these characteristics: "freedom of speech and press are abolished, and opponents are exiled or imprisoned." Now, obviously you forgot to mention a couple of other important attributes of communism. FYI, nudge, nudge, communism is also, via Wikipedia:
a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general.
There is a "socioeconomic structure" in place with communism. It involves much more than just a couple of characteristics. And lest I am accused of not going to the source, here is a statement from website of the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA):
We Communists believe that socialism is the very best replacement for a capitalist system that has served its purpose, but no longer meets the needs and requirements of the great majority of our people.
Huh. I'm confused... don't lefties always try to say that socialism has nothing to do with communism, and that connecting the two is a right-wing conspiracy to scare people away from socialism? Here is another excerpt from Wikipedia:
As a political ideology, communism is usually considered to be a branch of socialismSoooo... what we have here is an explicit connection between communism and socialism. Socialism is the preferred economic system of communists. And now remember, our dear Western European friend, you are the one that told us of the harsh realities that exist inside a communist society; a place where "freedom of speech and press are abolished, and opponents are exiled or imprisoned." Your words, not mine.
Ask yourself this question, because it is obvious that you have not: why is it that a form of government that requires everyone to be the same, uses an economic structure that redistributes wealth from earners to non-earners, and punishes any sort of success whether that be economic, personal, physical, etc. is ALSO the same government that oppresses free speech, free press, and exiles, imprisons, or murders its opponents?
Answer: the government can only coerce people to live according to its will through the use of force and oppression to make is citizens comply.
Now, how does this relate to President Obama? Lucky for me, Randall Hoven at American Thinker just yesterday published an article on this very topic, saving me a lot of time. To summarize the article - which you must read in its entirety on your own - he simply lists the CPUSA's platform, line by line, and applies that list to Obama's actions to date. Guess what he found? You'll never guess, I'm sure.
Of 44 items on the CPUSA's list, 22 are already enacted, 21 are in work, 1 is being violated.
In conclusion, I would like to say:
Yes, Obama and the Democrat party leaders, Pelosi and Reid, are moving us towards socialism at warp speed.
Yes, I believe that the evidence to date (i.e. Obama's own statements, his background teaching and working in radical socialist/communist organizations, and his radical associations) and the historical precedent of socialism and communism gives us a clear picture about the precarious position of our individual freedoms and liberties in relation to Obama's policies.
Yes, I think it is obvious that your precious Western European nations are losing their freedoms and their liberty as each generation is infected with a larger sense of entitlement than the previous generation. Those countries are going bankrupt trying to keep up with all of the social programming that has been implemented over the years. (As an aside, wouldn't it be interesting to see how much money Europe could spend on these social programs of which they are so proud, and about which they feel so superior to us, if the USA were not completely funding their defenses, and have been since World War II? Just a thought...)
Yes, the open road to prosperity is congested for the citizens of Europe because of overregulation and the disincentives to produce that occur as a result of the high taxation that exists to support the immoral wealth redistributionist policies enacted by the socialist governments.
Finally, because I know you are concerned, after some yoga, meditation, and a shot of wheatgrass, I am finally at peace with the words that I chose to use... Wait, just kidding. After a lot of study, reading, investigation, analysis, and critical thinking on my part, I know I used, and continue to use, correct terminologies. If this still baffles you, then my advice to you is, try being a little more "choosy" about where you get your information from, after all, I wouldn't want people to question your credibility.