How dangerous popular culture is for kids - "You know you wouldn't send your child into parts of east Wilmington at 11 o'clock at night alone if they're 5 years old," Santorum said. "But when you sit a child down at a computer chat room, you're doing pretty much the same thing to their mind. It's a very dangerous place. Many parents don't realize that."
This shows a kind of resentment for his own constituants that should be intolerable to Pennsylvania voters.
But that first sentence...the way he said it. We're not experts on the lay of the land in Wilmington, but it didn't take too much Googling to confirm that East Wilmington is, ahem, the black neighborhood. And so he tells his audience that "you" wouldn't send "your" kid there at night. Apparently, he felt pretty confident that no one in his audience, perish the thought, might actually be trying to raise his or her own child there.
Like so many of his ilk, Santorum seems to live in a world where "you" and "yours" are white suburbanites who can afford a fast computer and an Internet provider.
And so there's nothing worse, apparently, than the idea that their Dell PC might be making their suburban sanctuary as dangerous as some neighborhoods already are, not just at 11 p.m. but when school lets out in the afternoon, and when bullets have been known to fly.
Rick Santorum isn't the senator for East Wilmington. But he does represent dozens of neighborhoods much like it, from Mantua or Fairhill here in Philly to dozens of other communities like them across Pennsylvania. And it's true that he drops by from time to time, to talk up "compassionate conservatism" or rarely, to dole out small federal grants through a small network of GOP black ministers and the like. But he just doesn't sound as worried about their kids, ducking bullets, as "your" kids in chat rooms.
Because each night it's back to his more-than $757,000 home in the bedroom community of Leesburg, Va., where he looks out at his wealthy neighbors and ponders social problems -- not the problems of people like us, but the problems of people like "you."