Anyone concerned about free speech should certainly not vote for Obama though.
Throughout his campaign, Obama has resorted to heavy handed ("thug" seems like an apt description) tactics to silence the speech of those he disagrees with - often invoking government agencies to do this work for him.
To start things off, it's worth taking note that during the primary, apparently, Pro-Hillary Clinton Blogspot/Blogger-based blogs and Facebook accounts regularly were taken offline.
Now maybe that wasn't the result of official Obama-Campaign actions. But the all of the following were:
1. The Obama campaign launched an all out attack on journalist Stanley Kurtz. First they started with a smear campaign, calling Kurtz "slimy," a "smear merchant", and a "character assassin". Then, by way of an "Obama Action Wire" they tried to strong arm WGN radio in Chicago from allowing Kurtz to make an appearance on a talk radio show.
2. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Obama campaign threatened radio stations with legal action if they didn't stop playing an NRA ad. The rather chilling text of the legal letter Obama's legal team sent included:
For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should refuse to continue to air this advertisement.
Because you need not air this advertisement, your station bears responsibility for its content when you do grant access. See Felix v. Westinghouse Radio Stations, 186 F.2d 1, 6 (3rd Cir.), cert denied, 314 U.S. 909 (1950).
Moreover, you have a duty "to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising" Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.C.2d 623 (1961).
Failure to prevent the airing of "false and misleading advertising" may be "probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility." Cosmopolitan Broad. Corp. v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978).
Some freedom of speech that allows!
3. The Obama campaign tried to use the Department of Justice to silence the American Issues Project from running an ad about Ayers, and even went after AIP's top donor.
4. Just days ago, Obama again is trying to use the Department of Justice to silence critics. This time it's against politicians who dared to criticize ACORN.
5. In Missouri, the Obama campaign attempted to assemble "The Barack Obama Truth Squad" - a collection of sheriffs and prosecutors who would target anyone the campaign deemed to be spreading false information about Obama. These actions led Missouri goveernor Matt Blunt to release a statement with the following:
[...] and Obama, and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill, have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.
What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.
This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson's thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.
Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society.
Anyone who cares about free speech and dissent should be seriously concerned about an Obama presidency.
Probably the biggest threat to free speech looming in front of us would be bringing back the Fairness Doctrine. In fairness, Obama has released a statement saying he does not favor "reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters." In the same statement though, he calls for more government involvement in media ("Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets").
It's also really hard for me to imagine a President Obama vetoing a Fairness Doctrine bill from the Congress after he's voted down the line with his Democratic Senate colleauges 97% of the time.
And what's more, how important would the Fairness Doctrine even be if Obama is using the DOJ to go after those he disagrees with as he is today?