There’s an easy resolution to the shutdown. For months, we had to listen to “Mr. Art of the Deal” claim he was going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. I don’t want my tax dollars used for this worthless, ineffective edifice, and I don’t want America to emulate the former East Germany. So if he wants a wall, I say go make a deal: Make Mexico ante up, as he promised his supporters he would.
David R. Inman, Edgebrook 

Trump already built a wall out of alternative facts and falsehoods. It has done a great job of separating his followers from reality. Trump need only tell his base the wall is built. Just don’t tell them what it’s made of.

Bob Barth, Edgewater

As 800,000 workers go without paychecks and ripple effects begin to be felt in many places, President Tweeter says the government shutdown could go on for months if he does not get funding for “The Wall.” Lucky for him, he no longer functions as a CEO. In the corporate world, that would be deemed extortion, and his victims would be chanting: “Lock him up!”

Dan McGuire, Bensenville  

There is no question the crisis you talk about exists, Mr. President. It is you.

Ed Stone, Northbrook

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The “Mell Rule” isn’t enough

I’d like to see all the elective bodies in the state of Illinois go further than adopting the “Mell Rule,” described in the editorial “Heir today, lawmaker tomorrow? No thanks,” in the event of a vacancy.

Should an elected official or primary winner retire or otherwise drop out after winning an election or primary, that individual’s highest vote-getting opponent should be given the right of first refusal for the office. At least then someone who actually received some votes would have the position, rather than someone no one had voted for.

Bob Bausone, Des Plaines

Mike Madigan, speaker once again

Watching Mike Madigan’s reelection as the Speaker of the House, a position that he has held for an astonishing 35 years, brings to mind an old quote, often attributed to Albert Einstein though it’s unclear who really said it first: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Good luck and Godspeed, Illinois.

Mike Rice, Jefferson Park