2018 may have been the year America saved itself.

The divergent forces of history were pulling hard away from one other in 2018. Going one direction was President Trump and his dishonesty-and-division-based appeal to authoritarian-flavored dystopia. Going the other way were the majority of Americans who wanted their country back and wanted to start actually dealing with issues of economic, social and environmental justice. The ever-slippery president did his best to outrun the backlash — and reality itself. A preliminary showdown occurred in November, and democracy began, once again, to prove its wisdom.