Mary is totally integral to our faith. She is the Mediatrix of All Graces!* She is the Cause of our Joy! She is the Singular Vessel of Devotion!
I think you'd have a more productive time talking about Mary with Protestants than avoiding her. She didn't say "All generations would call me a schmo for letting God walk all over me". She said:
All generations will call me blessed
Lk 1:48 - Gospel from the Solemnity of the Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary
This is something that is in the Bible and I think it is clearly stated in a way that it is asserted by the Holy Spirit and therefore true. Now, if Catholics decided decided to devote every Tuesday to the kind of ecumenism that refuses to call Mary Blessed, then every Tuesday the Church would cease to exist. But, since "the gates of hell" will not prevail over the Church on Monday, neither shall they prevail over her on Tuesday and therefore, in her incorruptible majesty, it seems as though she is incapable of abandoning her
The best way to contemplate Jesus is through Mary's eyes. That's why the Rosary is such a powerful devotion.
One can figure that out without being Catholic and I think that makes for common ground.
Perhaps too, there are some who fear that the Rosary is somehow unecumenical because of its distinctly Marian character. Yet the Rosary clearly belongs to the kind of veneration of the Mother of God described by the Council: a devotion directed to the Christological centre of the Christian faith, in such a way that “when the Mother is honoured, the Son ... is duly known, loved and glorified”. If properly revitalized, the Rosary is an aid and certainly not a hindrance to ecumenism!
Pope John Paul II - Rosarium Virginis Mariae
Bl. Pope John Paul II the Great* goes on to quote St. Louis de Montfort
Our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Hence the most perfect of all devotions is undoubtedly that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most perfectly to Jesus Christ.
St. Louis de Montfort - Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
yes, St. Louis, but you said this was Total Consecration to Mary, what does she have to do with Jesus?
Now, since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ
So it is by being an imitator of the one who is most conformed to Jesus that we become more and more consecrated to Jesus. To Jesus through Mary... Where have I heard that one before. Oh yeah, she is the Mediatrix of All Graces. That's what that means, it means that sanctifying grace was allowed to permeate our souls because Mary freely chose to offer herself to God and bring Redemption into the world.
To drop her Marian devotion, the Church would have to wipe out at least 17 feasts during the year in her honor (3-4 of which are Holy Days of Obligation), we'd have to get a lot of black paint; smash a lot of statues; stop praying the Rosary and the Hail Mary; Find someone else to help us with our "purity issues". We'd have to be Protestants!
Forgot to read the second half of your question. Maybe there's no sufficient answer for this and I will have to resort to bad analogies.
If the Trinity can be likened to a Blue Plate Special (which I doubt it can) at your favorite diner then Mary is your friendly waitress Cheryl.
If the Trinity can be likened to a 3-in-1 Lego Creator kit, then Mary is your mom who bought it for you for Christmas.
If the Trinity can be likened to anticipation, experience and remembrance, then Mary is the one who got you all excited in the first place.
If the Trinity is some strange fractal with triangles that infinitely recursively fall in upon themselves, the Mary is your 7th grade math teacher.
If Mary is as integral as getting to know Jesus, then she is equally integral in getting to know the Father and the Holy Spirit!
Don't want to go overboard and contradict myself, in this related question I said Marian Devotion is not essential to salvation and that's true. But I think "integral to faith" and "essential to salvation" aren't exactly the same thing.
*It's not heretical to call her that, even though it's not a dogma yet. If you don't believe me, ask another question!
*Can I just future proof and call him St. Pope John Paul II the Great?