“We the People of the United States . . .”

Powerful words open the preamble to the Constitution of the United States. Meaningless in our current environment. It’s easy to sit here and armchair-quarterback how our duly elected representatives work to represent their constituents when words like “voter suppression” permeate the airwaves of cable news and social media. Distrust of government, media, and, unfortunately, each other rages on.

Voter suppression is at the heart of the riveting and timely “All In: The Fight for Democracy,” a documentary from co-director producers Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés.

Even with the chaos, a relative calm and order has emerged out of the mess – Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia House of Representatives Minority Leader, who ran in the 2018 gubernatorial race against Brian Kemp. Don’t be fooled, though; the calm and order is full of fire and fury.

Garbus and Cortés elevate the struggle of voter suppression by telling Abrams’ story, from her humble roots, to push for political action. It stung to see Abrams shut out of opportunity at such a young age, and it was painful to see what we as a species do to one another. The doc paints a salient picture of gerrymandering and attempts to shut out the voice of the people, using her 2018 campaign as a jumping-off point to show not only how close she was to winning the race, but the attempts by Kemp’s party to shut her down.

Abrams is not your far left-leaning politician either. The crusade to make sure that everyone has the freedom to exercise their right to vote was made all the more powerful because of her efforts. As the documentary points out, though, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The structure of the documentary fell in lockstep with Abrams’ personality – it is informative; it is divisive; it is honest. Its primary message is to get people out to vote in the upcoming election, something that has been on the minds of many people for the past three and a half years. But, it also serves to remind us of history – the effort to keep out the disenfranchised from the voting process and the efforts of politicians to steal an election.

It is Abrams’ down to earth nature, though, that caught my attention because she’s experienced so much struggle and hardship, not just on a political level, but on a personal level too, that she is willing to work in the trenches with others to get the message across.

Even as her gubernatorial race came to a close, she was unwilling to concede; she retained her humility and grace. Garbus and Cortés effectively offer hope that “we the people” can fight “to form a more perfect union.” It will take people on both sides of the aisle. “All In: The Fight for Democracy” shows the way forward in a convincing way.

It is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

  • All In: The Fight for Democracy