With regards to change and how to bring it about and, as Gyno put so perfectly, stand up for themselves, I think the answer is simple. The execution is not, but we are all lazy Americans.
If you want to really throw a wrench in the gears and see change, you have to start by voting intelligently on a local level. You are electing the electorates, after all. Imagine what a state like California would be able to become if there were 4 parties sharing damn-near-equal power in the state senate.
The reason Gore so happily accepted his loss and backed the electroal college is because he knows that with a dominantly two-party power structure there is no way either party will ever be threatened. So of course he bowed out gracefully and backed it.
Now if you have 4 parties all dividing up those electorals, you'll see the whole system scrapped real quick. But if we can start at the local levels, and start making small changes, then we can begin moving forward into the larger levels. And this isn't a 10 year process. It could happen at the next election. The key here is that people are too lazy. It's easier to turn on the TV and see who CNN is backing and bicker about it than to sit down with some documents, speeches, etc and find a candidate who fits your goals.
But the whole wasted vote mentality comes in. Everyone figures a vote for any other party is a wasted vote. I say a vote FOR those parties is a wasted vote. If you want change, and you want a dominant 3rd and 4th party to enter the arena, then get off your ass and get people around you talking and motivated. Word of mouth is the best salesman in the world.