Five Books to Change Conservatives’ Minds

As the 2016 presidential election made clear, we live in the era of the echo chamber. To escape their own, progressives need to be reading the best conservative thought — certainly Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, but also more contemporary figures such as Antonin Scalia and Robert Ellickson. The same is true for conservatives, if they hope to learn from progressives. Here are five books with which they might start.

.. Many conservatives insist that judges should adhere to the “original meaning” of the Constitution. Dworkin offers the most systematic response to this view. He emphasizes that the Constitution contains a lot of open-ended phrases, containing abstract moral language: “equal protection,” “freedom of speech,” “due process of law.”

.. He contends that whatever judges say, all of them end up as “moral readers” of such phrases — and so their own convictions must play a significant role. The question, then, is what kind of moral reading we will give, not whether we will give one.

.. After reading these books, conservatives are hardly likely to rush out and volunteer to work for the Democratic Party. But they will end up a lot more humble.