The Year in Sanity

The Year in Sanity: Our top 10

Slide show: What were the most rational moments of a chaotic year? You nominated, we ranked -- behold the winners

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    10. Judge Vaughn Walker

    “Walker found no ‘rational basis’ for state opposition to same-sex marriage, and he marshaled stacks of evidence to support his finding. Will his decision stand up in higher courts? Considering how conservative the current Supreme Court is, they could very well dismiss Walker’s decision. But Walker gave pro-equality forces the best chance possible at an upset victory.”

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    9. Ron Artest

    “Ron Artest’s decision to advocate for mental health speaks to the power of redemption. Six years ago, Artest was considered the NBA’s resident thug, a talent few teams considered worth the risk. But he has turned it all around. Today, he is fighting to help people who are struggling the way he did for so long. Yes, it’s crazy, but Ron Artest is finally sane.”

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    8. Robert Sarver

    “Following passage of [Arizona's] immigration bill, Sarver announced the team would wear special ‘Los Suns’ jerseys ‘to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona and our nation.’”

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    7. Ted Olson

    “Olson served as the plaintiff’s attorney in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, challenging Proposition 8. A leading conservative lawyer arguing in favor of gay marriage … he’s been pretty courageous, and notably sane.”

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    6. Diane Ravitch

    “Diane Ravitch not only acknowledged that she had made a mistake by advocating the No Child Left Behind Act, but also wrote an entire book, ‘The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,’ about just how misguided that policy was.”

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    5. Grant Woods

    “After being reprimanded by the state GOP for endorsing Democrat Felicia Rotellini for his former post, [Woods] sent a scathingly brilliant letter to Rob Haney, the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee.”

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    4. Constance McMillen

    “Constance McMillen may not have had the senior year of her dreams, but she got something much better: a well-financed education, the recognition of millions of people across the country and self-respect. And she reminded the rest of us that when it comes to facing down bigotry, there’s no better weapon than a cool head.”

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    3. Jacob Isom

    “With the simple declaration ‘Dude, you have no Quran,’ Jacob Isom stopped a radical ‘Christian’ group from burning the Muslim holy book in an Amarillo, Texas, park.”

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    2. Joel Burns

    “During the announcement portion of a council meeting, [Joel Burns] delivered an incredible, awesome, moving speech describing how he was bullied in high school and promising teenagers that ‘it gets better.’”

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    1. Michael Bloomberg

    “With the Statue of Liberty behind him, Bloomberg went further than any other major American leader in defending the [Park 51] project, daring to remind listeners that Muslims shared in the pain of 9/11 and linking the construction of the center to our country’s highest ideals. He didn’t just say it could be built; he insisted that it should be built.”