This one needs the setup from the email that kicked off the response:
Another obstacle to overcome is the fact that Americans are not used to a third party. Conservatives may agree with the issues and like the candidate, but we are conditioned to think that we are throwing our vote away when we vote for principle rather than the elephant. How can we help to change that paradigm?
On the paradigm shift front, we’ve hinted at it in our discussions earlier. People are politically unaware, and because of this they tend to accept the current ‘two’ party system. I hold that these days, there is actually only a SINGLE party, composed of two halves that basically want the same things, they just want their particular brand of those things. Like the ‘Coke vs Pepsi’ debate, you’re still talking about a dark carbonated beverage with similar composition and taste, whichever you choose. The so-called ‘third’ option is really a SECOND option, say… tea. It is somewhat similar to the first option (somewhat dark in color, in the South it is sacrilege if it is not cold and sweet), can be adjusted to taste, and is CLEARLY a different and healthier option that you control yourself, or you can choose to have someone else control for you, if you like the way they do it.
Thus, with people consumed by the Coke War, is is our job as tea drinkers to convince them that there is actually a better, healthier alternative. Our victories will usually be small, but they will be real. And the more people we convince about tea, the more people know about tea, and even more people come to drink tea. This continues until relatively soon you reach a point where you no longer have a Coke War, but a Beverage War. At this point, each of the 3 (2) beverages have roughly a third of the populace that prefer their beverage, and both of the original beverages must pay a healthy respect to the wishes of the tea drinkers, even though the tea drinkers aren’t actually in a majority position yet. This is the point where the tea drinkers actually have to become the most vigilant about convincing people their drink is best, as at this point – and maybe even sooner – the Coke and Pepsi producers will try to offer their own tea flavors in an attempt to retain market share.
Thus, I believe that the best way to shift that paradigm is to talk to people, one on one preferably, in groups if needed. Build relationships. Convince them you know what you’re talking about and that you can be trusted. Because once they begin to trust you, they’ll begin to seriously consider what you’re saying.
And I’m a firm believer that once someone starts really looking at the Libertarian positions, it is only a matter of time before they become a libertarian, even if they never become a full-fledged member of the LP. And yes, I know that sounds kinda arrogant, and I do apologize, as that is SOOOO not my intent here!