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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.  [June 25, 2007]




[]  Darcy Halsey hails from Navy heroes and Republicans and hippies. She works in Hollywood's famously progressive film community. With such a checkered heritage, it's no surprise that this actress is a registered Libertarian!

"I'm originally from New Hampshire, a very libertarian state," said Halsey, whose views mirror the LP's old platform. "I believe the government should stay out of personal affairs and not micro-manage our lives. It should not regulate marriage laws or laws on reproductive rights. I believe across-the-board in an individual's right to choose, which applies to a person's right to bear arms, although that's not a right that I exercise.

"I support the party's stance on cutting taxes, and holding the government accountable for its destruction of the environment and contributing so heavily to pollution. I love that the party believes in non-intervention in regards to war, and only going to war in self-defense."

Halsey registered Libertarian in 2000, switching from Republican. That was also about when her acting career took off. Her recent credits include Behind the Smile (with Damon Wayans & Jim Belushi), Material Girls (with Hilary Duff & Anjelica Huston), and an appearance in 2003 on the "Jackpot" episode of CSI. Her newest film is Drifter, from the award-winning director of The Delivery, Roel Reine.

But it was Halsey's performance in the internationally-acclaimed, 2005 antiwar play, What I Heard About Iraq, that greatly fueled her distrust of government. "Before this play, I was one of those middle-of-the-road people who didn't seek information. Never felt very political. Had no idea about the extent of lies that the American public had been told to justify the war. I was blown away at what I learned."

Director Simon Levy based his play on Eliot Weinberger's "What I Heard About Iraq," an article reprinted in What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles. Levy's play gathers the scattered bits of Iraqi news reporting from the past 17 years, juxtaposing the contradictory statements of American policymakers.

"I didn't know about the numbers of Iraqi casualties," said Halsey. "The military casualties, the lies leading up to the war, i.e. the WMDs, the use of depleted uranium in our bombs and bullets, the use of napalm, our administration's callous attitude toward rebuilding Iraq, the focus on money and oil, the extent of torture in Abu Ghraib, the destruction of Falluja. I don't have a solution as to how to withdraw our troops. All I know is that many innocent lives are lost every day, and every moment that we occupy Iraq the situation worsens."

Yet no one can accuse Halsey of not supporting or understanding our troops. She is "first cousin, three times removed" of Fleet Admiral Halsey, whom she describes as one of only four Fleet Admirals in US history. "The Japanese surrendered on his ship in the Pacific," she said. "Paul McCartney wrote the song 'Uncle Albert' about him." Her grandfather and uncles also served in the Navy, and "would not be thrilled about this play. They'd call me a 'bleeding heart liberal.' However, this play is not political. It's about the cruel acts that we all commit against each other every day.  That is what needs to stop.

"In doing this play, my life changed. I've taken responsibility for the situation in the country and our government and our actions overseas. I've started an activist group that meets once a month and discusses a variety of issues, such as the presidential candidates and their stances, the environment, L.A. water issues, and non-violent protest. We've worked with Planned Parenthood. And I will always be up for a peace rally."

Halsey may have inherited some of her activist fervor from her parents, whom she describes as former hippies. "My father protested the Vietnam War, but as he's gotten older, he's gotten more conservative. I was pretty conservative growing up, having adopted my father's politics."

Today both father and daughter are registered Libertarians.

Halsey doesn't hide her Libertarian affiliation in largely Democratic Hollywood, yet she finds few other Libertarians in the film community. She ascribes it to ignorance. "I do not think the majority of people are clear on what the Libertarian Party stands for. Next meeting [at her activist group], I'll do a short presentation on the Libertarian Party and their stances on political and social issues. A lot of people don't know about it."


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