Missing Persons were an American new wave outfit in the 1980s, whose husband and wife members (Terry and Dale Bozzio) did apprenticeships with Frank Zappa. Sadly, the short-lived success from this one-hit wonder of a song ended the band and the relationship.
The song is probably about a doomed affair in which one partner is not listening. The lyrics also strive to be more universal: “What are words for, when no one listens any more?”
Political discourse today is lamented for lacking the intellectual rigour and creative artistry of its past practitioners. Indeed, compare a typical or random speech from George W. Bush to that of any one made by Abraham Lincoln… In this regard, those doing the talking may need to be producing something worth hearing.