I listened to Mike Huckabee speak at the 2007 CPAC and walked away saying that I had closed my eyes and heard the next Ronald the Great. He was eloquent, witty, evoked all of the proper images and left me with a tear in the corner of my eye as he closed with a story about kids, veterans, and freedom. Could it get any better?

The problem is that, just as with all of the other Republican candidates, there is a path which we travel together and a crossroads at which we part company. In most cases, there is not enough to make the ideological bond worthy of support but there is not enough in the divergence to make me opposed either. That is not the case with Huckabee, however.

I want to like Mike. I want to love the prospect of his occupying the Oval Office and, although I believe in my heart that we need to put aside our differences for the good of the Party, I cannot support him because our divergence is a deal breaker. He was always heavy – I get it. He was picked on as a kid – Check. He lost a hundred pounds – commendable. The problem is that he wants us all to live his new wonderful lifestyle.

I come from a different Republican Party. I like cigars and scotch and steak and I like business owners to control what happens in their establishments. I know that Hucksters will come out of the woodwork and support their guy. They’ll say that I’m wrong; that he’s really not what Club for Growth says he is. The problem is that, if you really listen to him and you read his website, the signs are there.

He has mentioned his support for a national smoking ban. The market should control that… especially given that the evidence of second hand smoke’s direct connection to death actually is refutable. He has advocated a consumer driven health care system but the “devil is in the details” and his details lead to a “shift from a healthcare system to a health system”. “Getting serious about prevention” is really a euphemism for more mandates not less. Companies would subsidize gym memberships and everyone would have the “leafy green vegetable and rice cake police” looking in their windows.

His education plan includes Federal mandates that public schools include arts and music in their curricula. As a graduate of a private school, I cannot argue that students should not be well rounded but to argue that the arts are “as important as math and science”, at a time when we are falling behind the world in our technology acumen, is misguided and to argue that the Federal government should have a say in local schools is downright wrong.

Reagan once opined that “government is not the solution to the problem, Government is the problem”. He was right and, despite what I heard at CPAC, Huckabee’s positions are wrong. There is so much I want to like about him but, where our paths diverge, the rift is great. If it is him and Hillary… No contest. For now, though, I’ll keep traveling my way. On my path we smoke cigars and eat burgers. It’s a happy world and one that I’d like to stay in for just a bit longer, thank you.