It's hard not to be sympathetic to the message of the actual or would-be glitter-bombers, but we think this particular protest technique has turned cliché, fruitless, and rather counterproductive. It's time to put down the throwable art supplies.
If you've been lucky enough to have avoided the political news cycle for the last year or so — maybe you were traveling through Europe, or living like an Amish person for a while, or just asleep for twenty years on some hill in the Catskills, whatever it was, you were lucky — glitter-bombing is an act of protest in which a pile of glitter is thrown at a politician who's taken anti-gay positions. The first target was Newt Gingrich last May, when, his campaign foundering the first time, 24-year-old activist Nick Espinosa showed up at a book signing, declared, "Feel the rainbow, Newt. Stop the hate. Stop anti-gay politics," and then dumped a box of glitter over the candidate and his (third) wife. Glitter being, y'know, gay. When the trend first began it seemed like a whimsical piece of political theater, an ultimately harmless public act that drew attention to a serious problem in a funny way. But, of course, as tends to happen with these kinds of Youtube-driven trends, the whole darn thing soon got out of hand.
In a practical sense, it's become kind of dangerous. For the be-glittered person's various face holes of course (Glitter in the eye? It burns), there may be some chance of injury. But it's also now risky for the glitterer: It seems that the guy who tried to glitter-bomb Mitt Romney on Tuesday night could face six months in jail. That's pretty serious business! Now that the presidential election has gotten as far along as it has, the Secret Service is involved. So no longer is a glitter-bomber just some rascal with a pocket full of tinsel bits, he or she is an enemy of the state. (Or something.) It seems unlikely that a Secret Service agent would at any point actually hurt or worse a glitter-bomber, but really who's to say? They see someone pushing through the crowd with something in their hand, making a beeline for the candidate? That probably looks like a lot of potentially dangerous things, meaning the whole situation could end rather terribly. Obviously certain protest is worth facing even mortal danger, but glitter-bombing is not that. What we've got here is a whole juice not being worth the squeeze kind of a thing.