Countries that elect candidates carried by a rising tide of "wokeness" tend to rue the day.
An appetite for change can be whetted when people run out of hard options, and they settle for quick fixes.
Change can also be spur of the moment: bored with the rest, in need of political zest, people will plump for something different.
But like anger, change is not a policy.
Misreading the public mood is never easily forgiven as Fine Gael and, to a lesser extent, Fianna Fáil, are finding on doorsteps. It turns out it was "the society", and not "the economy, stupid".
Marginalisation of many and the quality of life of many more since the crash should have been recognised and managed so much better.
Misreading matters will always carry a cost; but misrepresenting them is arguably more damaging.
Given the billions being sprayed around in the ever more febrile, bidding bazaar of Election 2020, this is something to keep in mind.
Enthusiasm is invariably the enemy of a bargain.
Novelty is no guarantee of quality; in making a choice in replacing something, the test is not is it new, but is it better?
Opinion polls show the percentage of the two main parties is shrinking.
No party has a monopoly on "change" nor can they claim to control it.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said it is "all to play for", but he knows the future of this country is not a game.
Very serious issues urgently need to be resolved.
The signals from Brussels and London suggest that we could be caught in a bruising trade dispute if Boris Johnson refuses to comply with agreed terms.
As the EU comes to crunch trade talks, Mr Varadkar and Micheál Martin trade insults.
The Taoiseach attacked Fianna Fáil's "backwoodsmen" while Mr Martin accused Fine Gael of "believing it has a divine right to rule".
While in London Mr Johnson has said he would walk away from the year-long talks if the EU did not agree to his demands.
We need stable, functioning government.
Not "stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap" election promises, which disintegrate once tested in the real world.
It is to the real world we will return when the fantasia ends, and we are faced with the results of Election 2020.
RTÉ was right to admit Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald to tonight's leaders' debate.
We have a housing crisis and a health crisis, and limited resources to deal with both.
Yet to date we are still being asked to believe the impossible is nothing.
Difficulties do not scale down nor budgets expand to just meet wild party pledges. Across Europe, we have seen what happens when a space is opened up for populism. Chasing the crowd is no guarantee of safe arrival.
In unknown terrain, you follow those who show they know, not those who put on the best show.