Saving General Petraeus

PRINCETON – The United States has moved from the high of a presidential election to the low of a political sex scandal in one short week. For many Americans, the election demonstrated what is best about the country, only to be followed by the sadly familiar process of knocking heroes off their pedestals. For many non-Americans, the election brought the welcome and reassuring victory of Barack Obama, whereas the resignation of David Petraeus as Director of the CIA was an unnecessary, self-inflicted wound.

In fact, both the election and Petraeus’s resignation are pieces of a larger whole: an America that lives up to its promises.