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advocate

To advocate for something means to make the case for it publicly or in official circles.

People can advocate for anything. Some people may advocate to save the whales, while other people advocate to serve whale meat in public school lunch programs as a way of providing low-cost protein to needy children. When those two opposing groups get together they probably beat each other over the head with clubs before going off to also advocate for and against the seal hunt.

Advocate can also be used as a noun. As such, it is someone who publicly pleads, i.e. advocates, for something either on behalf of others. A lawyer who pleads cases in courts of law can also be called an advocate. Or an advocate could be someone who crusades for a cause that is near and dear to his or her heart.

People who actively and regularly advocate for the tax-funded, free, universal provision of tinfoil hats to protect against the gamma rays that aliens are beaming at our heads are called freaking idiots. Mental healthcare professionals wouldn’t refer to them as advocates either, but psychiatrists probably have a more formal diagnosis for them than freaking idiots, and they a special, friendly, padded place to house them.

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