Information overload: after a year of non-stop presidential politicking we are saturated with information – and misinformation – from every quarter. The electorate seems deadlocked, entrenched, unsure.

But when you get right down to it, our choice is pretty simple. We don’t need to buy into every party line position or assess the veracity of every ad. Strip away the clutter, the smears, the promised goodies, the trivia – look at where we are as a nation, where we need to go, and what kind of leadership we need to get there.

I will vote for Mitt Romney because:

1. He brings to the job exactly the experience, skills and demonstrated capability we need right now

The No. 1 issue facing the nation, the one at the root of every problem and the path to every success, is our ailing national economy. Romney understands this, in theory and practice, inside and out. He knows how the economy works and he fully grasps the implications of expanding and unsustainable entitlements, $16 trillion in debt and taxes on business builders.

Obama clearly does not. Any question on that was erased in the first debate. This wasn’t just an off night for Obama – his superficial talking points were like spitballs in the face of Romney’s deep and comprehensive mastery of economic issues.

Romney is as well an accomplished, successful executive. The presidency is at its core an executive position, among the most challenging such positions on earth. As voters we should think of ourselves as the board of directors of a big, struggling firm searching for a CEO. Romney’s record of executive achievement speaks for itself, regardless of how twisted by Democrat ads.

After four years in office, Obama’s record speaks for itself as well. He’s in over his head. This job is too tough and on-the-job-training just doesn’t cut it. Doesn’t it make sense to hire someone with exactly the skills we need?

2. Romney can bridge the great divide in Congress.

Our government is in gridlock – everyone knows that. Each side blames the other, each with good reason. But it doesn’t matter – we need to break through the gridlock.

Effective executives engage their whole teams, not just their personal favorites. Romney has shown time after time, in business, in running the Olympics, and as a Massachusetts governor with a Democrat legislature that he recognizes that and knows how to do it.

Obama has shown neither inclination, nor ability, to reach across the aisle. The first two years his administration tell us everything we need to know about his view on bipartisanship. With big majorities in both houses of Congress, he chose to ignore the input of Republicans (and the nearly 50 percent of Americans who voted them into office), jamming ObamaCare through with zero Republican votes.

3. He’s a good man.

Character matters. He doesn’t blow his own horn, but the real Romney is coming to light – a man extraordinarily generous of his time, talent and money, a family man, a leader in his church, a team player in every way.

Romney’s work ethic is legendary. His son was quoted as saying: “compared to my father, everyone I’ve ever met is lazy”. Don’t expect a hundred rounds of golf and lavish vacations. In every job, Romney’s been known for being on the job, seat belt buckled, intensely engaged in the problems at hand.

In these last few weeks, Obama’s stump speech has emphasized trust. I agree completely with the president that trust is a non-negotiable requirement of the job – I just don’t think he’s earned it. The most recent, glaring example is the string of misinformation from the president and his surrogates about the debacle in Benghazi.

4. Romney understands, in his bones, what this country is all about.

Romney’s family exemplifies the American Dream. Yes, he was born to privilege, son of a wealthy executive, later Michigan’s governor. But that father, George Romney, built his own life from scratch. He never graduated college. He worked his way up to the pinnacle of success and then gave back to the nation through public service. His son followed the same course, donating his inheritance to charity, starting his own company and growing it into a powerhouse, then turning to public service – first in an Olympic turnaround then as governor of Massachusetts – doing both for zero pay.

Is it any surprise that this man understands what our country is about? For Romney, this isn’t an ideology taught by mentors and professors – it’s his life story. Who better to set the tone for our nation?

Ignore the static and the slime, the class warfare, the nonsense about Big Bird and binders and “Romnesia” and wars on women. Romney’s the real deal, the right leader at the right time. Obama is not. Our choice is simple.

Jack DeVine is a retired business executive who now lives in Aiken.