Well, I do take the word educate seriously. I dont think you earn any ones respect by pandering to them. I think you earn respect by listening carefully and explaining how things work in a calm way, without name-calling and with sympathy for their thoughtfulness and attempts to understand the issue. You are exactly correct to want to establish dialog. One does not have to agree with a left or right position in order to discuss it. You are correct again - - - they dont read our stuff. I do read theirs and have for a long time. I feel this gives me a tremendous advantage.
What you read is up to you. If you are out of school, you are in control of what you read. So, dont blame someone else for that. I agree with you again that education needs to take place at a personal level. Usually by the time someone is working on a campaign they are pretty committed and any discussion that takes place will cause more heat than light. So, I generally talk to people who are not already working on the campaign of something I oppose. I feel that a leftist who doesnt read anything conservative and is working on a leftist issue will most likely take up a lot of my time. This might be interesting and I do it from time to time, but I feel this is an inefficient enterprise. The libertarians, because they are a minority party, need to pick the easy targets not the hardest ones.
My goal is not to get Libertarians into office any more than Democrats or Republicans. My goal is to get good people into office who share my values. I think the only way the Libertarian Party can succeed is to educate the public to libertarian values. If one chooses to change the Party to get elected, one may as well be a Democrat or Republican - - - that is what they do best.
Do you read leftist literature? What have you read lately? Best wishes - - - Bob Parkhurst