The Republican Party was not always so sadistic, but elements of sadism were always present even when the party was still committed, in word and deed, to the demands of liberal democracy. (You could say William Buckley’s long career was an effort to suppress the GOP’s sadism or at least make it look respectable.) The party’s democratic commitments started to unravel during the 1990s and finally blew apart after the country elected its first black president. Conservatism detached from democracy is fascism, and that’s precisely the Republican Party we now have.
From Let’s Just Say It. The Republican Party Wants to Kill You by Johns Stoehr