Will 2022 be a year of change – or increasing despotism?
01/11/2022 // Cassie B. // Views

Has despotism become our new normal? In a recent piece published by the Rutherford Institute, John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead outlined the threats to our freedom in the year ahead – and it’s safe to say that we’re being attacked from all angles.

From digital tyranny and cancel culture to vaccine mandates, inflation, martial law and government overreach, the threats to freedom are ubiquitous. Here’s a look at some of the biggest danger points they identified.

COVID-19 vaccines

An increasing number of private businesses and government agencies at federal and local levels alike are now requiring people to prove they’ve gotten jabbed to work, travel, go to school, shop and go about their daily lives. The authors maintain that allowing this to occur, and dictate our freedoms when it comes to 'allowing us to engage in movement and commerce' is setting the stage for what the authors termed a “show your papers society” in which we will be forced to identify ourselves to government workers who demand it any time and for any reason. It won’t be long before this turns into an extreme power grab from which there is no going back.


The First Amendment might protect our freedom of speech, but it’s coming under attack everywhere, and we are really only free to speak if what we’re saying is something that Big Tech agrees with. We’ve been seeing censorship on so many fronts, and it’s largely aimed at conservatives, as evidenced by countless bans on Facebook, Google and YouTube. Anyone who questions the wisdom of vaccines, talks about natural health remedies, expresses support for the police who work so hard to keep us safe, or tries to share stories about someone who has been damaged by anything Big Pharma peddles quickly finds themselves on the receiving end of so-called fact checks and social media bans.


We’re also seeing “cancel culture,” with society piling on people and brands for all manner of perceived slights, whether it’s a comment someone made 20 years ago that might come across as politically incorrect today, or a kids’ TV show that portrays police officers as being heroic. It won’t be long before you can’t even find alternative viewpoints on the internet.

Gun control

We all have the Second Amendment right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to be subjected to surveillance and searches if you choose to legally own one, much less use one in self-defense. People’s rights to carry are under attack, getting licenses and buying guns is becoming increasingly difficult, and anyone who wants to exercise their Second Amendment right is being viewed with no small amount of suspicion in many circles.

The “emergency state”

The Covid lockdowns weren’t just a boring and stressful time that nearly killed the economy – they also gave the government a taste of what it’s like to use its police state powers. Now, vaccine mandates and contact tracing programs are feeding this need for them, and it won’t be surprising if this continues to get worse, all in the name of protecting us from ourselves. All they have to say is that they’re doing it because of the pandemic or for national security reasons, and they can pretty much get away with anything.

Although the authors admit the outlook for this year is “grim,” all hope is not lost. Those of us who can do our part locally to try to set things right and fix what is broken can start to chip away at what is going wrong and hopefully get back to a world where freedom actually means something. As they put it, “’We the people’ are the hope for a better year.”

Sources for this article include:



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