The friendly TV debate that then United States Vice President Richard Nixon had with then Soviet Union President Nikita Khrushchev, was entertaining and important to the extent, that at least America and Europe could see some of the differences between the superpowers. That America wasn’t just a Superpower when it came to our military and diplomatic power. But we were an economic power as well. And that Russia was basically a third world nation, behind the rest of the Developed World in a lot of areas.
That Russia’s living standards were much lower than Europe, Canada and America. And this had to do with the fact that Russia was a communist state and America is a liberal democracy. The main reason why America, Canada, Europe and Japan were so far ahead of Russia during the Cold War and now, has to do with the fact, that we are free. We are all democracies economically and socially. We all have plenty of freedom to live our own lives.
And in America especially where Europe tends to be more generous with their safety nets, Americans tend to be held responsible with the decisions that we make in life. Whereas the Soviet Union, most of the power in the country was centralized with the State. They were held with most of the authority to govern the country and responsible for looking after their people. Providing them with jobs, education, healthcare etc.
Vice President Nixon did an effective job in this debate of laying out some of the differences between America and Russia and where we were ahead of them and with space. Where Russia was ahead of us, which we turned around in the 1960s and debates like this are important. Especially if they are done in a respectful way.