It's family breakdown and values breakdown that drive poverty in our country today. Poor families are overwhelmingly single-parent families.
Crime and unemployment among black males is a values crisis, and transforming these young men to productive beings is an economic as well as a values initiative. This is anything but statism.
It's tough to see how someone who wants to get rid of the IRS, which Huckabee's "fair tax" initiative would do, can be thought of as someone who loves big government.
His plan, which would replace the income tax with a national sales tax, has plenty of detractors, including those who see it as politically impossible to achieve.
But how do you argue with the idea of taxing consumption rather than income and production, and freeing every American family of having to share every intimate detail of their economic life with the government?
On health care, Huckabee has repudiated mandated universal coverage and supports reforms that would allow individuals the same tax preferences for purchasing health coverage as employers and that would allow a national market, rather than our current state-regulated fiefdoms, for buying health care Sounds pretty darned free-market to me.
On Social Security, Huckabee's plan would eliminate the payroll tax and he has expressed support for the idea of personal retirement accounts.
And, of course, Huckabee is a hard-core supporter of understanding the Second Amendment as protection of the rights of individuals to bear arms.
So the simple big-government-loving box into which many want to stick Huckabee is just not an accurate picture of the man. Do I agree with many of the criticisms in areas where he does want to turn to government? Yes.
Mike Huckabee is not a simple guy. But life is not simple. However, he is honest, he is clear and many, including me, appreciate his unequivocal stand for the traditional values that are critical for the future of this country.