Unfortunately, the Democrats are well aware of this, and have been very successful in using Republican policies and rhetoric to paint themselves as the party that cares more about freedom. The Republican line of attack must be that Democrats are puppetmasters and thieves, interested only in controlling the individual and milking him like a cow. Wonderful advertisements could be made using nothing but the Denocrats' own words - bu the RNC apparently considers that rude and uncivil. :)
I agree with all you say. Selling classic conservatism to the young won’t be easy. But de-panting and ridiculing the Left with their own words, in a manner that will appeal to the young, should be a no-brainer for any clever mind. IMO, it’s basically a marketing issue.