In about 1992 the wheels really fell off the Soviet Union, leaving the US as the one great world hegemon. Has anything like this ever happened before? Well, of course it has...
At the end of the Seven Years War, known to Americans as the French and Indian Wars, Great Britain won big. The French were decisively vanquished and withdrew from Canada. The colonists developed the distinct feeling that they did not need the British to "protect" them. Protect us from what? they asked. Certainly not from the Indians, with whom the British actively partnered to confine the colonists east of the Allegheny Crest.
And today, any thinking person would be asking, from what is the US protecting us? In the simplest of language, the US is more likely to be the threat than to protect anyone against a threat.
It's not crunch time yet, but the existential moment has been created.