As far as non-voters goes, there certainly are a lot of people who are turned off by the political system, but I don't think you could get them to vote for the same candidate. They have just as much diversity in their opinions as the people who do vote.
And you can jigger with how states allocate electors as much as you want, but in the end the game is won by one player. Therefore, it makes sense to get 50% +1. That creates the dynamic that practically guarantees two (major) parties.
I guess this is where we have vastly different conceptions of human nature. I don't think people are nearly as rational as you seem to think they are. IMO, people's opinions and views are informed by their emotions at least as much as by reason. That being the case, there will always be people who take advantage of that fact by using emotion laden appeals, making a totally rational and unemotional discussion impossible.The opinions aren't the distraction. The refusal to respect the right of someone to disagree with you is the distraction. Having 50 partisan debates allows for the decision to be made locally so that those municipalities can have what they want locally without forcing it on people universally. If you don't like what your state government does, you can move. If you don't like what the federal government does, all you can do is secede or revolt (neither of which are without partisan consequence themselves).
It also allows for the different approaches to succeed or fail on their merits. If people disagree on the best approach to solve a problem, it's valuable to society if all the approaches are allowed to be tried and tested on their merits. If one approach provides better overall results than another, there's no rule that says the state with the inferior approach can't voluntarily adopt another approach after seeing how well it works.
Gay marriage is a pretty good example. With states allowed to adopt the policy on its merits, other states may see that it's not a bad idea after all. Maybe the societies in those states collapse in a heap instead, proving the arguments of the religious right. Who knows until society is allowed to try those things and validate them on their merits, and why try something on the whole country at once when half the people think it's a crappy idea?
Compromise is weakness, moderation is treason, practicality is evil.
The fringe was called the fringe for a reason, they existed on the margins, now the fringe rules, but as you would expect, they do it very, very badly, leaving plenty of room for special interests to get their non-partisan thievery done while everyone is duking it out over partisan nonsense.
But what do I know? I've only finished my electrical engineering degree this semester.
The only reason that doesn't happen, in my opinion, is because the mass media is controlled by the same corporate interests who control the political parties. They turn every grass roots movement into a partisan wedge issue (even though the people in those movements are rarely partisan), and they keep us convinced that a vote for a third party is a vote for the "enemy".
In reality, a vote for either one of the parties is a vote for the enemy.