My remarks concern the contemporary global epidemic of populist challenges to constitutional democracy. They will not seek to explain them, however, nor will they offer a cure. Their ambitions are smaller. The first section identifies several ill-conceived but very common ways in which we think and talk about post-dictatorial transitions, and in particular about engendering (often mistakenly called ‘building’) constitutional democracy where it was weak or absent. The second sketches some, also common, ways we mistake the nature of challenges (and challengers) that enterprise might face, in particular challenges from anti-constitutionalist saboteurs/subverters, often more clued up on these matters than their enemies. Drawing on these two parts, in the third I suggest that we might do better if we reflected on these mistakes and came to talk and think, and consequently act, differently.