There is a difference between Obama and Romney. Taste it.

It’s not the end of the world as we know it. And I personally feel fine, thanks for asking. But still, there’s no denying that these are alarming times in America—including Sacramento.

As of this writing, President Barack Obama is all tied up with GOP challenger Mitt Romney, this according to a post-convention-bounce analysis of national polling at A dead heat itself is, of course, discouraging. But what’s even more troubling is the legion of Facebookers, Tweeters and actual real humans trying to convince me that there’s no difference between Obama and Romney.

Their argument: The two big-party candidates rake in money from an identical corporate and 1-percenter base, so their respective policies are essentially two sides of the same coin. An evil coin. Muah ha ha.

But let’s keep it real: Romney will whittle away at higher education and gut financial aid for low-income students. He will defund ongoing efforts to kickstart a sustainable-energy infrastructure and slash environmental protections. He will preserve the war-on-drugs status quo and its targeting of minority communities. With Paul Ryan by his side, he will push to privatize Social Security and loosen up already lax Wall Street regulations. And more.

Say what you want about Obama, but at least he’s going to fight for students, green energy, minorities, seniors, the unemployed and the poor. That’s a big difference. Taste it.

I get that Americans are jaded. Money in politics—and especially so-called “dark money”; see Cosmo Garvin’s Bites column this week on page 13 for a look at suspicious campaign dollars here in Sacramento—is enough to make even the most wide-eyed activist weary and indifferent.

But this is no time for apathy: Being numb to the political process is just dumb.