This being Flag Day and all, I thought I'd pass along a letter that I received from a viewer, Mr. Morrison, who writes:
"I notice I still see flag pins on you and some of your Fox cronies. It's getting a little old, don't you think? It's also getting a little over-the-top. How can you question or critique your government when you march like lemmings to its every pronouncement?"
Well, Mr. Morrison, first things first. I'm not here to judge people who don't wear flag pins. So why judge those who do?
Patriotism isn't determined by a pin. It's determined by the heart that beats behind that pin. Free speech advocates seem to make a bigger deal out of protecting the rights of those who burn a flag than those who simply wear one. But no matter.
Loving one's country and loving one's job are not incompatible. Just like being a good American and a good journalist are not inseparable. I can be a harsh critic of what this country does wrong. Wearing a flag pin doesn't make me any less so.
But you're quite right on one crucial issue, Mr. Morrison. I am biased. I do love my country. And I am proud of my country.
As a journalist, I'm proud of what this flag represents to me and what it offers for me: The chance to criticize it, analyze it, debate it, even condemn it.
Ironically the very journalists who love to leap on all this country does wrong, refuse to acknowledge the simplest protections for all they want to do right.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'd rather be a good person, than a good journalist. A good American than a good wordsmith. A guy who's more inclined to look at my own country and say "thank you" than "screw you."
I don't judge those in my profession by what they wear. I do judge them by what they say. Not whether there's a pin over their heart, but whether they even have a heart.
Me? I wear my emotions on my sleeves, and yes, my lapel.
You say it's all because of September 11, Mr. Morrison. Maybe you're right. Up until then, I took everything I had for granted. Since then, I leave nothing to chance. Like the chance to say, I'm lucky and I'm grateful.
You say when my show comes on, you switch me off. It's a free country, Mr. Morrison. So I'm free to tell you: go ahead.
What do you think? Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. And watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World w/Cavuto.