â€œCondign.â€ Iâ€™d read the word before, and still had to look it up. I looked it up again a little while ago. I think Iâ€™ll remember it now.
Some think of having to look up uncommon words as a special kind of punishment. Condign is for them, then: It has been relegated to modify punishment since the 17th century. It means â€œentirely in accordance with.â€ A â€œcondign punishmentâ€ is due punishment: not too strong, not too weak.
So thank you, George F. Will, for reminding me, once again, what â€œcondignâ€ means.
Mr. Will used it to characterize what would happen if former Congressman Bob Barr, a Republican-turned-Libertarian, got into the presidential race and took enough votes from John McCain to hand the election to the Democrat.
Now, Barr has done just that â€” gotten into the race.
In his column, Will relates that Barr will shed no tears for John McCain. McCainâ€™s campaign finance regulation trampled on free-speech rights and helped incumbents stay in office even better than before. Will gives a number of examples how McCain-Feingold has trampled on the ability of Libertarians to get on the ballot in some states, and to support their candidate in the next presidential outing. He said if McCain loses because of the Libertarian candidate, that would be â€œcondign punishment.â€
Yes. But would the Democrat winning be condign punishment for America itself? Iâ€™ll leave that to your judgment.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.