It's impossible to make the argument that patriotism stems directly from fear. The forming of a nation in itself is an act of fear. Patriotism is an absurd emotional response to one's fear of being viewed as inferior to another nation. There is no place where this cowardice is more noticeable than in American politics. The undereducated voting block for the republican party is highly motivated to vote because of their fear, which their preferred media outlets create. They vote out of cowardice and call it patriotism.
Its impossible to call pride in one's nation, in one's traditions, and in one's people a form of cowardice. Patriotism is national pride; perhaps a more exaggerated form of patriotism is nationalism, but both promote the best of the country. The forming of a nation itself comes from the need to act independently from a previously incapable government; anyone who restricts this to merely American politics are ignorant. Patriotism is a worldwide phenomenom; the Republican Party maybe "patriots" in name, but many Democrats are also patriots. Patriotism maybe reaction, but it is definitely not cowardice.
How can a person put this two words together and make a comparison between them ? Patriotism means you have responsibilities on your shoulder and you are willing to take the duty. For example, during the WW2 many teenagers fought bravely with the fascists because they have patriotism, how can a man sacrifice their lives without fear? And is the man a cowardice?
Patriotism and fear are completely unrelated. Why would you create a nation out of fear? Besides, a nation led by a leader who is afraid would not last very long. And what does voting have to do with it? People vote for those who they believe support their views (although that seems to have changed).