It’s hard to quantify the sheer number of lessons there are to be learned by the last two years of COVID in America. The cold, callous, and self-serving desire for control at the expense of others by the Democrat Party should be chief among them.

But when thinking about a guiding, governing philosophy, independence must be chief among them.

Donald Trump is inextricably linked to “Make America Great Again,” but it’s an idea that does, and should, transcend him. The entire Republican Party should be embracing both this philosophy and the messaging.

Central to the American ethos or personality is the idea of independence. Among the hard lessons of COVID is that we must be self-sufficient, as a country. We need to identify and manufacture the things that keep us safe and keep our economy moving in times of trouble.

We can’t be reliant on other countries for our medicines. Whether we’re in a global health situation or simply needing valuable medicines for common serious diseases like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, we should have a base of manufacturing in our own country to make sure we can not only supply our population, but have surplus to sell or give to other countries.

As we digitize our humanity, microchips and processors are becoming the foundation of everything we do. More than 90% of the world’s semiconductors are made in Taiwan, and they are not only in China’s back yard, who is likely to invade now that they’re seeing America’s weakness through the Ukraine invasion.

We can’t afford to be beholden or reliant on any other country – even if we consider them allies. There’s no reason we can’t make semiconductors and other essential tech components in the United States. It would be better for our people, our economy, and our standing in the world.

Possibly most importantly, there’s no reason why we are not prioritizing energy independence. We had it two short years ago under President Trump. We were utilizing our available oil drilling and fracking resources, exploring nuclear energy, and reducing our use of coal. But we were doing it all within the United States.

As a result, our energy expenses dropped significantly, making the cost of doing business much cheaper. With more jobs, we had a much larger and engaged workforce. Our citizens were more productive and able to improve their standards of living.

Globally, our energy independence created stability and took away leverage from countries like Russia and China. No one could cripple our production capacity or gouge us for prices. And with that power, we could choose when we wanted to get involved or stay out of world events. When we got involved, it would be because we wanted to, not because we had to for the sake of protecting our own energy interests.

It’s a classic and time-tested rule: When you are self sufficient, you owe no one and can make decisions that are right for you, not because you have to. It’s no different for a neighborhood, a city, a state, or a country. The more you can do on your own, the less you owe to others, and the clearer your head can be when determining when to get involved of who you want to work with or help.