The ultimate shutdown in politics is to compare a political opponent to Adolf Hitler.
And while Donald Trump may have changed much of what we know about politics, that truth lived on in 2016, even if it didn't stop the president-elect from winning.
Here are seven times, in no particular order, the national media compared Trump to Hitler.
1. New York Times book review by Michiko Kakutani of "How Propaganda Works" on Tuesday: "In Mein Kampf," the review beings, "Hitler argued that effective propaganda appeals 'to the feelings of the public rather than to their reasoning ability'; relies on 'stereotyped formulas,' repeated over and over again, to drum ideas into the minds of the masses; and uses simple 'love or hate, right or wrong' formulations to assail the enemy while making 'intentionally biased and one-sided' arguments. … The subject couldn't be more relevant, given … a president-elect who has stoked the fears and grievances of supporters, and who frequently lies, flip-flops and sows confusion by tweet."
2. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen's non-comparison to Hitler in an early December op-ed: Cohen wrote that Trump is "manifestly" not an anti-Semite and is not "another Hitler." Then he proceeded to say that under Trump, America may become another Weimar Republic, the unofficial designation for the German state that preceded Nazi Germany. "Now, ask yourself what might happen if there were a huge terrorist incident on American soil," he said. "Might this man of little knowledge and no restraint attempt to suspend civil liberties? ... I have too much faith in America and its institutions to think that Weimar is the future. It is, however, a warning, not something that shouldn't be discussed, but something that should be mulled."
3. CNN's Dana Bash, reacting after the second presidential debate in October, when Trump quipped that Democrat Hillary Clinton would "be in jail" if he were president: "OK, not to sound too corny," Bash said, "but what makes this country different from countries with dictators in Africa or Stalin or Hitler or any of those countries with dictators and totalitarian leaders, is that when they took over, they put their opponents in jail. To hear one presidential candidate, say – even if it was a flip comment, which it was – 'you're going to be in jail' to another presidential candidate on the debate stage in the United States of America, stunning, just stunning."
4. Richard Cohen again, in September, drew a non-parallel between Trump and Hitler: "I realize that the name Hitler has the distractive quality of pornography and so I cite it only with reluctance," he wrote at the time. "Hitler, however, was not a fictional creation but a real man who was legally chosen to be Germany's chancellor, and while Trump is neither an anti-Semite nor does he have designs on neighboring countries, he is Hitlerian in his thinking."
5. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow told Rolling Stone in July that studying Hitler helped her understand Trump: "Over the past year, I've been reading a lot about what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor," she said. "I am gravitating toward moments in history for subliminal reference in terms of cultures that have unexpectedly veered into dark places, because I think that's possibly where we are."
6. University of Paris philosophy professor Justin E. H. Smith, writing for the Times in June, took the Richard Cohen route and described Trump as "not Hitler" but with a caveat: "The fact that the comparison has any traction at all," he said, "that it is a recognizable part of our new political dialogue, and that the man at its center is not actively seeking to prove it wrong, shows how severe the current crisis is, and hints at how dark the future might get."
7. In March, the Washington Post editorial board, during the heat of the Republican primary, warned voters that Trump could be another Hitler: "You don't have to go back to history's most famous example, Adolf Hitler," the paper said, "to understand that authoritarian rulers can achieve power through the ballot box."